This, I believe, is a gem:

"I've lived too close to the woods, for too long, to be frightened by the hoot of an owl."


Over at the Guardian website today, there's a great piece on the very fine Ian Miller - here's some Ent action to get you in the mood. 


So, if you think you're really good at getting art out to the masses, think again.

One day, all art will be as good as this - or maybe not...

I forget now why I headed over there in the first place but while I was reading that Miller piece, I spotted a link to an article on which books will never be on your shelves - and it's very helpful and nice to read thank you very much - for the following reason:

There's an excellent comment from a guy (who appears to be a judge and has the name of a judge) that goes something like this.. hang on... I will in fact, cut and paste...

"I have attempted reading four DeLillo novels ('Mao II', 'Cosmopolis', 'The Body Artist' and 'Libra', the latter being one I used to own) but with each one I barely made it to the halfway point before tossing it aside. The characters never really come to life on the page, and the writing is too pretentious by half. Like Norman Mailer, he seems more focussed on his own literary capabilities than actually crafting a decent story or anything resembling a sympathetic character. I've really tried to like him, as so many of my other favourite authors admire him, not to mention friends of mine with otherwise good taste, but even the really short novellas I can't make it through - if anything they're even worse than the longer ones. End of rant..."

Here, he is talking about Don DeLillo of whom, it's true, is a little hard to fall in love with on the first date but I love the guy. I think he's one of the best living writers of the modern age. The fact that somebody who is articulate enough to mention Mailer in his bashing of DeLillo, gives somebody like me a real kick in the pants. 

Why? Because when you're doing something creative - anything, not only writing - I think you always hope that everybody will love what you do but as we have seen recently, that's not quite true (check out this Anne Rice story) - the simple fact of the matter is, the more successful you are, the more people there will be around to hate you - or worse still, be cool enough to give you a try and then not understand you.

That indeed, sounds a hell of a lot worse to me.