Tuesday, June 19, 2012

a year ago today: publicity for the bogan delusion

Got what was I think my first review yesterday from a Saturday Age journalist called Dianne Dempsey. I didn't see it till Saturday evening, and no-one had told me about it in the time leading up till then and no-one has spoken to me about it since. It was not a particularly favourable review, although Dempsey did put forward some positive qualities she found in the work.*
I have probably written about it here previously but I do lead my professional life via the guidance of Paul Fussell and his remarkable essay 'Being Reviewed', one part of which in sum states that if you can't stand being reviewed negatively, don't write books and publish them. I actually feel this is more or less fair enough and I try to abide by its implications, one of which is, oversensitivity to reviews is pathetic. But it was interesting being in a few minds at once - I felt a bit savaged, and also a bit patronised, and also wishing I had a right of reply. But also I could assume the smart reader could see right through this review, which like so much of the guff I have received from the media kind of proves one of my points as outlined in the book (it's a light-hearted bit of fluff from a very middle-class, 'latte coiffing' point of view, which impugns my motives) and so I wondered whether it was ultimately a good or a bad thing. Fussell says, and my limited experience seems to prove, that if you're (or in this case, your product is) important enough to be talked about that's all that really matters.
Still it got up my nose particularly in tandem with the Safran thing which I have been playing over and over in my head since.

I shouldn't be so sensitive, as the book has gone into a 2nd printing, which means I have now to make some corrections. That's a good thing.

* Martin the publisher called me later in the day to commiserate on the review and suggest he was sufficiently irritated by it to 'arc up' with Dempsey/The Age on this but I said I didn't think this was a good idea. I felt a bit like I was being managed, but I am still not sure if my response is a little too emotional.

3 comments:

Petticoats and Chrome said...

Congratulations on your second edition!

... and the entry of the word "bogan" as officially recognised by the Oxford English Dictionary.

I am sure you must have had something to do with that too!

David said...

See future post(s).

FJG said...

Dianne Dempsey learnt dancing in our studio and we have been to parties at her house on a few occasions