Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me' - The Guardian

Re: Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me'

If there was a broad sweep of opinions in critical views, then Morrissey should be able to comfortably dismiss it as a few people 'not getting it'. But when every single serious published critic shares the opinion that what you have written is bleedin' awful (I haven't read a single positive review of note - and no, anonymous Amazon reviews don't count) , it might be time to let some air out of that swollen head and accept you are not the greatest writer since Shakespeare.
 
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An anonymous person posts the link:

Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me' - The Guardian
The former Smiths frontman has hit back at negative reviews of his novel List of the Lost

Excerpt:

“I strongly believe in freedom of expression and critics have to say what they have to say,” he wrote, in an email interview with a Chilean website (via Contact Music). “But often the criticisms are an attack against me as a human being and have nothing to do with what they’re reading.”

When asked about how badly List of the Lost, published in September, was received, Morrissey said critics couldn’t express “moral indignation” about the novel’s storyline because they did not like how the book was written. “It wasn’t written for you,” he said. “You cannot try to work out what you think the author should have written instead of what he actually wrote.”

...In response to a question about whether critics skew the relationship between the author and the reader, Morrissey wrote that most critics “want to start something that might bring them a bit of attention because they want it to be about them and their own personal taste. Nothing moves forwards in a world like this. If you ask the public not to buy the book, you’ve given the book a level of attention which you don’t want.”



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Re: Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me'

morrissey is deluded
 
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Anonymous

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Re: Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me'

http://www.theguardian.com/music/20...ms-debut-novel-attack-against-me-list-of-lost

“I strongly believe in freedom of expression and critics have to say what they have to say,” he wrote, in an email interview with a Chilean website (via Contact Music). “But often the criticisms are an attack against me as a human being and have nothing to do with what they’re reading.”

When asked about how badly List of the Lost, published in September, was received, Morrissey said critics couldn’t express “moral indignation” about the novel’s storyline because they did not like how the book was written. “It wasn’t written for you,” he said. “You cannot try to work out what you think the author should have written instead of what he actually wrote.”

List of the Lost by Morrissey review – 'verbose, tangential, unfocused'

The book’s plot centres around a four-person relay track team in 1970s America, who are cursed when one of their members kills a man in the woods. Critics panned Morrissey’s characterisation as well as his approach to writing sex scenes and dialogue. In the Guardian’s first-take review blogpost, Michael Hann urged readers not to buy the book, writing: “Do not sully yourself with it, no matter how temptingly brief it seems.” Elsewhere, the Guardian’s review said the book was “utter garbage”, while in the Observer, Ed Cumming wrote that the book’s publishers “should be ashamed of themselves” for bringing the book to print.

In response to a question about whether critics skew the relationship between the author and the reader, Morrissey wrote that most critics “want to start something that might bring them a bit of attention because they want it to be about them and their own personal taste. Nothing moves forwards in a world like this. If you ask the public not to buy the book, you’ve given the book a level of attention which you don’t want.”

some of those reviews sure were attacks. like it or hate it some of the reviews did not do a good job of reviewing
 

Detritus

Teenage Lightning
Re: Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me'

some of those reviews sure were attacks. like it or hate it some of the reviews did not do a good job of reviewing
Yes, that's certainly true. He seems to take particular issue with the Guardian review, and I can't say I blame him. It was definitely the most odious of the bunch, though not without its valid points. And he's absolutely right that the hyperbolic warning against reading the book probably compelled a lot of people to seek it out, simply out of curiosity.

That said, the idea that if someone didn't like the book, then it's because it wasn't written for them is ridiculous. It's an utter non-defense and a lazy attempt to render his book critic-proof.
 
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Anonymous

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Re: Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me'

Yes, that's certainly true. He seems to take particular issue with the Guardian review, and I can't say I blame him. It was definitely the most odious of the bunch, though not without its valid points. And he's absolutely right that the hyperbolic warning against reading the book probably compelled a lot of people to seek it out, simply out of curiosity.

That said, the idea that if someone didn't like the book, then it's because it wasn't written for them is ridiculous. It's an utter non-defense and a lazy attempt to render his book critic-proof.

perhaps though it is pretty stylistic and being a lover of fiction i dont hold many popular novels dear to me or there readers opinions on fiction. judging from the prose i doubt he thought it would find love among the common reader. its not 50 shades of grey and i dont think he expected it to be or to sell like it. i think he found the sale of auto bio pretty surprising

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curiously i wonder how hed fair at writing essays on his experiences, more specific, on certain subjects. a travel log book by morrissey in his style might be interesting and he clearly loves certain places and people. i think hes gonna write some more
 
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Anonymous

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Re: Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me'

No Morrissey. They criticise it because it is f***ing dreadful. Grow a pair, admit you've written a turkey, and stop being such a whining crybaby.
 

Detritus

Teenage Lightning
Re: Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me'

perhaps though it is pretty stylistic and being a lover of fiction i dont hold many popular novels dear to me or there readers opinions on fiction. judging from the prose i doubt he thought it would find love among the common reader. its not 50 shades of grey and i dont think he expected it to be or to sell like it. i think he found the sale of auto bio pretty surprising

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curiously i wonder how hed fair at writing essays on his experiences, more specific, on certain subjects. a travel log book by morrissey in his style might be interesting and he clearly loves certain places and people. i think hes gonna write some more
Maybe so, but it reads more like a convenient dismissal of any response that isn't positive rather than a statement that his writing is an acquired taste.

As far as essay writing is concerned, I've said this before, but List of the Lost would have been much more compelling as an essay collection. Most of the book is dominated by author soapboxing, it seems odd to have chosen a fictional narrative to get his ideas across, especially considering said soapboxing comes at the expense of everything that is traditionally integral to a novel, like characters and plot. A few people have commented on the book functioning as a roman a clef, to which I agree, and I suspect there are aspects of this book that are autobiographical that for one reason or another he felt he couldn't explore in Autobiography. A fictional narrative allowed him some liberties a memoir or essay collection could not.

I do hope he one day does publish a book of essays. His digressions on music, poetry, film, politics and sexuality in Autobiography are utterly fascinating, as are the forwards he's written for several music-related books (Cockney Reject and that one New York Dolls book immediately come to mind). I'd honestly love to read more in-depth queer theory analyses of films and television programs from him, or his thoughts on politics beyond what we can surmise from songs like "America Is Not the World" or "World Peace Is None of Your Business."
 
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Anonymous

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Re: Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me'

Maybe so, but it reads more like a convenient dismissal of any response that isn't positive rather than a statement that his writing is an acquired taste.

As far as essay writing is concerned, I've said this before, but List of the Lost would have been much more compelling as an essay collection. Most of the book is dominated by author soapboxing, it seems odd to have chosen a fictional narrative to get his ideas across, especially considering said soapboxing comes at the expense of everything that is traditionally integral to a novel, like characters and plot. A few people have commented on the book functioning as a roman a clef, to which I agree, and I suspect there are aspects of this book that are autobiographical that for one reason or another he felt he couldn't explore in Autobiography. A fictional narrative allowed him some liberties a memoir or essay collection could not.

I do hope he one day does publish a book of essays. His digressions on music, poetry, film, politics and sexuality in Autobiography are utterly fascinating, as are the forwards he's written for several music-related books (Cockney Reject and that one New York Dolls book immediately come to mind). I'd honestly love to read more in-depth queer theory analyses of films and television programs from him, or his thoughts on politics beyond what we can surmise from songs like "America Is Not the World" or "World Peace Is None of Your Business."

I don't find soapboxing to be a negative for a work of fiction depending on how its carried out and there are many examples throuout publishing history of it though they aren't already famous when they write them. I mean even the wizard of oz could be accused of soap boxing a bit here and there. As to a book of essays I'd sure find them interesting myself.
 

Detritus

Teenage Lightning
Re: Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me'

I don't find soapboxing to be a negative for a work of fiction depending on how its carried out and there are many examples throuout publishing history of it though they aren't already famous when they write them. I mean even the wizard of oz could be accused of soap boxing a bit here and there. As to a book of essays I'd sure find them interesting myself.
Neither do I, but I happen to think List of the Lost is an example of it being poorly executed. Using a work of fiction as a vehicle for a political agenda can be an incredible act of subversion, an effective way of conveying ideas while appealing to the emotions and intelligence of the reader. Unfortunately, with LOTL Morrissey tactlessly steamrolls through the story with rants that seem forced and unnatural. He makes Ayn Rand seem like a master of subtlety.
 
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Re: Morrissey: criticisms of debut novel are 'an attack against me'

Neither do I, but I happen to think List of the Lost is an example of it being poorly executed. Using a work of fiction as a vehicle for a political agenda can be an incredible act of subversion, an effective way of conveying ideas while appealing to the emotions and intelligence of the reader. Unfortunately, with LOTL Morrissey tactlessly steamrolls through the story with rants that seem forced and unnatural. He makes Ayn Rand seem like a master of subtlety.

I was thinking of raynd myself. I've not yet read it as I've such a long list of crap to read and just because its moz doesn't mean he gets skipped to the top of the list but I'll get round eventually. Hopefully I'll find other things to enjoy. I share many of mozs positions where I don't with rand so that might make it go down a bit better and I like how he writes prose as playful language use excites me these days. Guess I'll see though
 
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Anonymous

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moz there is no sense in writing a novel if you are writing it for only you to read.
most reviewers were moz fans and despite favorably disposed they could not bring themselves to write a good review. the book is an absolute stink bomb.
 
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Anonymous

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"...In response to a question about whether critics skew the relationship between the author and the reader, Morrissey wrote that most critics “want to start something that might bring them a bit of attention because they want it to be about them and their own personal taste. "

So that explains the Edd Shearon can kiss my arse comment then. Oh I get it now thanks for clearing that up Silly Steven.
The books still shit though nothing can alter that fact.

Benny-the-British-Butcher
 

Sidnettle

Death to Racists
I thought his response was pretty mature and constrained considering how the book was trashed. I haven't read the book and probably never will, but what I have seen of it looks bad. However nobody is going to enjoy such negative cticism whatever. The joy people have taken in making personal attacks is quite shameful. If they like an album or book, he's a great, if not he's a despicable loser. How does that make sense?

By the way, the irony of an anonymous poster dismissing anonymous reviews was not lost on me.
 

AgathaC

Member
That is why I admire him. He really is very polite to people he probably is entitled to really lit into. He is different than other artists but I am so glad he is and it is a tragedy if he really confidence issues. I think the world of you Morrissey.
 
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Anonymous

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who would have guessed that moz would have become the ed sheeran of the book industry. that would explain his measured tone. he is going to get progressively more lumps now that he is on the way down.
 

Harsh Truth

Ever Felt Had?
Well, despite my better judgement I ordered the book a few days ago and will soon find out for myself what all the fuss is about.
 

TreeSB

New Member
I wondered when or if he'd respond to all the criticism.
He certainly has a point, as some of the reviews I've read seem to focus more on Morrissey than what he's written. And he certainly doesn't need to justify his creative output, but claiming it's all about attacking him is disingenuous.
 
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Anonymous

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I wondered when or if he'd respond to all the criticism.
He certainly has a point, as some of the reviews I've read seem to focus more on Morrissey than what he's written. And he certainly doesn't need to justify his creative output, but claiming it's all about attacking him is disingenuous.

youre generalizing to make a point thats not there.

“But often the criticisms are an attack against me as a human being and have nothing to do with what they’re reading.”

he does say often, meaning not all
 

No1uno

Member of the Month™
Subscriber
“want to start something that might bring them a bit of attention because they want it to be about them and their own personal taste. Nothing moves forwards in a world like this. If you ask the public not to buy the book, you’ve given the book a level of attention which you don’t want.”

So this is what morrissey he done. How can he say that about others when he does it too. I guess I'm not seeing the difference
 

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