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I’ve been away from blogging for a long time – about 2 years apparently, doesn’t time fly?  Now that’s writers block on a grand scale.  I bet Ernest Hemingway didn’t down tools and go sailing for more than a few month’s at a time, although since he did blow his brains out in the end maybe he did.  Not that I’m comparing myself to Papa Hemingway – au contraire – heaven forbid – and all that.  I’m sure my little scribblings don’t even come close to a ‘real’ authors musings.  Although it must be said that just as beauty is in the eye of the beholder so is literary merit.  Personally I think Stephen King and Peter Straub and P.D. James all suck despite the fact that they’ve sold, and made, millions.  Don’t know about you but I find that tons of turgid prose and overly intricate plotlines bore the hell out of me and can only be deciphered by underemployed academics on a grant.

Mozart was once informed by his patron that his work was good but contained ‘too many notes’ – well Stephen King’s plots are good but he uses too many words – a few thousand of them too many in fact.  You could take out all the superfluous windings and musings plus all the ‘the’s’ and ‘And’s’ and still be left with an unreadable  chunk .  The Shining I must admit was an excellent book, tightly drawn and full of suspense, but then King sadly got a bad attack of verbal diarreah and has sunk in my opinion ever since.  But literary criticism is of course subjective.  When he was at university Michael Crichton decided to submit a little known short story by Hemingway as his own in order to see what would happen [here he would be thrown out of school on his ear-hole that’s what would happen, but times change ].  Hemmingway, Chrichton says, got a “C”.  When at university I was also tempted to submit other people’s work as my own  – a practise that was widely endorsed by the student body as a whole until it was stifled forever by the introduction of satanic software like ‘Turn it In’.  I only did it once – sort of – when I submitted a paper for Anthro 101 on Neanderthal Man and quoted widely and extensively from Time Life Books for the General Reader [now defunct].  I hadn’t heard of the term ‘academic research’ or that other one ‘primary sources’ at that stage in my school career, therefore I inserted reams of directly lifted text from ‘Time Life’  sprinkled  lightly with a few unoriginal words of my own here and there like snowfalkes.  I was pleased to find that this essay writing lark was pretty easy after all.   Fortunately for me I did put quotation marks around most of my paragraphs making them look like ‘proper’ quotes, and the bibliography was easy:  ‘Time Life’, ibid, ibid, ibid…otherwise I might have joined Michael Crichton outside in the road waiting for the Number 27 bus.

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