Thursday, September 23, 2004

The Bitching Hour

I was alerted to this by Neil Gaiman (and his wonderful blog), it seems that Anne Rice got fed up with all the negative reviews that people were posting at and decided to have her say. The Toronto Star even wrote an arcticle about it. Here is the full text of her response to the many, many negative comments made by customers on her book Blood Canticle:

From the Author to the Some of the Negative Voices Here, September 6, 2004
Reviewer: Anne Obrien Rice (New Orleans, LA United States)

Seldom do I really answer those who criticize my work. In fact, the entire development of my career has been fueled by my ability to ignore denigrating and trivializing criticism as I realize my dreams and my goals. However there is something compelling about Amazon's willingness to publish just about anything, and the sheer outrageous stupidity of many things you've said here that actually touches my proletarian and Democratic soul. Also I use and enjoy Amazon and I do read the reviews of other people's books in many fields. In sum, I believe in what happens here. And so, I speak. First off, let me say that this is addressed only to some of you, who have posted outrageously negative comments here, and not to all. You are interrogating this text from the wrong perspective. Indeed, you aren't even reading it. You are projecting your own limitations on it. And you are giving a whole new meaning to the words "wide readership." And you have strained my Dickensean principles to the max. I'm justifiably proud of being read by intellectual giants and waitresses in trailer parks,in fact, I love it, but who in the world are you? Now to the book. Allow me to point out: nowhere in this text are you told that this is the last of the chronicles, nowhere are you promised curtain calls or a finale, nowhere are you told there will be a wrap-up of all the earlier material. The text tells you exactly what to expect. And it warns you specifically that if you did not enjoy Memnoch the Devil, you may not enjoy this book. This book is by and about a hero whom many of you have already rejected. And he tells you that you are likely to reject him again. And this book is most certainly written -- every word of it -- by me. If and when I can't write a book on my own, you'll know about it. And no, I have no intention of allowing any editor ever to distort, cut, or otherwise mutilate sentences that I have edited and re-edited, and organized and polished myself. I fought a great battle to achieve a status where I did not have to put up with editors making demands on me, and I will never relinquish that status. For me, novel writing is a virtuoso performance. It is not a collaborative art. Back to the novel itself: the character who tells the tale is my Lestat. I was with him more closely than I have ever been in this novel; his voice was as powerful for me as I've ever heard it. I experienced break through after break through as I walked with him, moved with him, saw through his eyes. What I ask of Lestat, Lestat unfailingly gives. For me, three hunting scenes, two which take place in hotels -- the lone woman waiting for the hit man, the slaughter at the pimp's party -- and the late night foray into the slums --stand with any similar scenes in all of the chronicles. They can be read aloud without a single hitch. Every word is in perfect place. The short chapter in which Lestat describes his love for Rowan Mayfair was for me a totally realized poem. There are other such scenes in this book. You don't get all this? Fine. But I experienced an intimacy with the character in those scenes that shattered all prior restraints, and when one is writing one does have to continuously and courageously fight a destructive tendency to inhibition and restraint. Getting really close to the subject matter is the achievement of only great art. Now, if it doesn't appeal to you, fine. You don't enjoy it? Read somebody else. But your stupid arrogant assumptions about me and what I am doing are slander. And you have used this site as if it were a public urinal to publish falsehood and lies. I'll never challenge your democratic freedom to do so, and yes, I'm answering you, but for what it's worth, be assured of the utter contempt I feel for you, especially those of you who post anonymously (and perhaps repeatedly?) and how glad I am that this book is the last one in a series that has invited your hateful and ugly responses. Now, to return to the narrative in question: Lestat's wanting to be a saint is a vision larded through and through with his characteristic vanity. It connects perfectly with his earlier ambitions to be an actor in Paris, a rock star in the modern age. If you can't see that, you aren't reading my work. In his conversation with the Pope he makes observations on the times which are in continuity with his observations on the late twentieth century in The Vampire Lestat, and in continuity with Marius' observations in that book and later in Queen of the Damned. The state of the world has always been an important theme in the chronicles. Lestat's comments matter. Every word he speaks is part of the achievement of this book. That Lestat renounced this saintly ambition within a matter of pages is plain enough for you to see. That he reverts to his old self is obvious, and that he intends to complete the tale of Blackwood Farm is also quite clear. There are many other themes and patterns in this work that I might mention -- the interplay between St.Juan Diago and Lestat, the invisible creature who doesn't "exist" in the eyes of the world is a case in point. There is also the theme of the snare of Blackwood Farm, the place where a human existence becomes so beguiling that Lestat relinquishes his power as if to a spell. The entire relationship between Lestat and Uncle Julien is carefully worked out. But I leave it to readers to discover how this complex and intricate novel establishes itself within a unique, if not unrivalled series of book. There are things to be said. And there is pleasure to be had. And readers will say wonderful things about Blood Canticle and they already are. There are readers out there and plenty of them who cherish the individuality of each of the chronicles which you so flippantly condemn. They can and do talk circles around you. And I am warmed by their response. Their letters, the papers they write in school, our face to face exchanges on the road -- these things sustain me when I read the utter trash that you post. But I feel I have said enough. If this reaches one reader who is curious about my work and shocked by the ugly reviews here, I've served my goals. And Yo, you dude, the slang police! Lestat talks like I do. He always has and he always will. You really wouldn't much like being around either one of us. And you don't have to be. If any of you want to say anything about all this by all means Email me at And if you want your money back for the book, send it to 1239 First Street, New Orleans, La, 70130. I'm not a coward about my real name or where I live. And yes, the Chronicles are no more! Thank God!


Off The Wagon

I am *so* off the wagon! As you may recall, I gave up pop (and most caffeinated beverages) for a full 3 months this past summer. From May to August I didn't have one single drop of Coke, Pepsi -- any soda pop. Once the 3 month hiatus was over I decided to only drink pop at "special occasions" (like at movies). Well, this morning, on my way to work, I purchased a liter bottle of Coke and am enjoying said beverage as I type. I had pop with dinner at Pizza Hut last night and had pop the night before.

Whatevs, rehab is for quitters!

Sarah managed to score tickets for us to go see Michael Moore in Ann Arbor next week. He is doing 60 CITY SWING-STATE TOUR in 20 states and he will be at the Hill Auditorium next Wednesday. Sarah, Mark, Me and 1 other person (to be determined soon) will be in attendance. Woo!

The Britney update is as follows, it seems that holier-than-thou Xtina is talking "trash" about Britney's weekend nuptials labeling the wedding as "trashy, pathetic and low rent". THIS ARTICLE has a quote from Xtina, she said: "I'd never have thought that girl would have done it this way. I know she really loves Kevin, but this is like really low rent this time ... It's surprising. The whole affair seems somewhat pathetic." LOL! Xtina is the skankiest pop diva ever and should, IMHO, keep her trap shut.

The high resolution pictures from People magazine have yet to hit the 'Net so I'm holding off on posting any thing until they do. It shouldn't be long now.

In other news:
  • Sarah Michelle Geller has been cast to play Sabrina the Teenage Witch in the movie adaptation. She'll be 30 when filming starts in late 2006. Update: is reporting that this newstory is not true. Ah well, I think SMG would make a great Sabrina. [thanks for the heads up Shane]
  • Remember all those lucky people who won free cars on The Oprah Winfrey Show? Yeah, they are going to be responsible for about $7 thousand dollars in new taxes. Winners with lower incomes might be hurt the worst, Godek said, because the prize could push them into higher brackets, stripping them of possible tax credits. Yikes! No good deed goes unpunished, it seems.
  • There is hope for my friend Shane, it seems that Paris Hilton is looking for Mr. Right no matter what he looks like. "Looks don't matter anymore," the 23-year-old hotel heiress-model-actress said in the interview. "It's all about how nice they are. At this point, I want to find a guy who's right for me. I want someone who's going to treat me well and love me." Hmm, she must already be rich or something ...
  • Marilyn Manson is set to marry his beloved Dita Von Teese in a surprisingly normal ceremony. "Gottfried Helnwein [the German artist] whom I collaborated with a lot invited us to get married at one of his castles in either Germany or Ireland," Manson said. "So we thought we would just have the pageantry and the ceremony of a normal wedding, but without the church. Because I don't think that I would really be welcome there." Awwww! Oh yeah, he's also got a greatest hits album coming out and hates GWB.
  • Janet's boob finally has it's day of reckoning, CBS is fined $550,000 for the wardrobe malfunction at this year's Super Bowl. "The show clearly intended to push the limits of prime-time television," said the FCC, which called the half-time event an "outrageous stunt." Individual CBS affiliates were fined $27,5000 each as well. I say we outlaw all boobs on TV ... it's time for male butt shots if you ask me.
  • And speaking of male butt shots, want to see more of Eminem's ass? Go HERE.
  • Remember that televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, the one who was caught with a prostitute -- twice? Well, he's back in the headlines and he's still an asshole. Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart apologized Wednesday for saying in a televised worship service that he would kill any gay man who looked at him romantically ... In the broadcast, Swaggart was discussing his opposition to gay marriage when he said "I've never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry" ... "And I'm going to be blunt and plain: If one ever looks at me like that, I'm going to kill him and tell God he died," Swaggart said to laughter and applause from the congregation ... On Wednesday, Swaggart said he has jokingly used the expression "killing someone and telling God he died" thousands of times, about all sorts of people. He said the expression is figurative and not meant to harm. Gotta love those conservative Xtians ... no wait -- no you don't!
  • Hmmm, is this irony or poetic justice or something? Woman killed by falling cross -- ROME, Italy (Reuters) -- A 67-year-old woman was killed when a three-meter (10-foot) tall metal crucifix fell on her head in a small southern Italian town on Wednesday, police said. Too bad it didn't fall on Jimmy Swaggart.
And that's it for today. I don't teach today but I'm working on lectures and a project for Spirit Week next week.

Preparations for our party this weekend are underway. Erik and I are hosting a housewarming party this Saturday and we're starting to get things completed. I'm sure I'll either be talking more about this or too busy to post about it ... I hate having 10 million things to do all at once.