In this week’s Groping for Allusions, the inimitable Peggy Grounter casts her sharp (but ever so slightly lazy) eye over Fjona Uu’s The Brontesaurus Sisters.
This is not, in itself, an especially interesting fact. But it concerns me, nonetheless, particularly as I am mentioned, in passing, near the beginning of the article.
‘Plowing his lonely furrow in one of the internet’s many empty fields’, sayeth the mighty Peggy, ‘Mr Riecke plays up to an invisible crowd by entertaining the notion that Uu, by “mashing” together two or more literary genres, has thrown herself into the company of lesser writers. This, of course, is nonsense’.
Fair enough. But pray tell us why, Miss Grounter, this is nonsense. ‘It is immediately clear to any reader that Uu is no literary lightweight – and that this novel, like her previous work, confronts history with a wicked grin, concealing a fierce, admirably determined intent to bruise, maim and destroy.’
Interesting. A little strong, perhaps, but I admire your passion. And I agree, indeed, with the central point. Uu is not a literary lightweight. Nor did I ever say she was. For as you yourself note, I merely ‘entertained’ a notion; a notion that was not, as you seem to think, that Uu is a mere fashionable ‘mash-up’ artisté, but that Uu may run the risk of being seen as one, not by conscientious readers such as you and I, but by those less fortunate than ourselves. I was referring, you see, to those who may not have read Uu’s work before; to those who judge books according to their titles – and who, thus, may quite understandably come to the conclusion that a novel called The Brontesaurus Sisters is not, as you would have it, an ‘high-octane, heavily intellectual assault on man and mankind’.
Funny that you, my dear Peggy, cannot understand the mindset of such a person, seeing as you so clearly have a bit (if not a lot) of them in yourself. After all, you obviously thought you knew what I was saying before bothering to read what I actually was saying.