Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived

A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?

Update: seemingly not

Update: Oh yeah!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

 
Thursday music link

I had the idea a while ago of making my bid for literary greatness by simply getting a Mills & Boon romance novel from a railway station bookshop and plagiarising it more or less word for word, except that I would cunningly transpose the setting to a concentration camp. ("Life is Beautiful" had been out recently, and I was becoming irked at the rash of subsequent films and books which had broken out a case of grey-tone face makeup to spray a thin layer of gravitas and moral seriousness over what was basically a genre romcom). I filed it in my bulging binder marked "Conceptual Art Projects Of Dubious Taste, Not Worth Bothering With" and hardly thought about it again, apart from when Ian McEwan's "Saturday" came out and I thought I might repurpose the idea by stealing a M&B wholesale and just putting "These events happened on September 10, 2001" at the front.

But I was going the wrong way. I was thinking "serious" and going for the sallow tones, when I should have been thinking "edgy-cool" and going for fake fangs. My local Waterstones now has an entire shelving unit dedicated to "Dark Fantasy", ie vampire chick lit. The BBC series "Being Human" was explicitly admitted by its creators to have started as a screenplay for a thirtysomething stages-of-life drama, which wasn't really coming together until they decided to use a bit of spray-on ironic monsterdom.

The initial instinct of course, is to be irritated at a cynical rebranding exercise. But actually, I think that something rather more sinister might be happening. Consider: previously, the bookshop used to have a whole rack of innocent, wholesome uncomplicated romance novels, and only a few vampire-porn titles. But now, the vamplit has spread out and the neighbouring shelves have seen their spines turn from pink, to black and red (to the extent that I once mistook "Dark Fantasy" for the military history section).

There's only one sensible conclusion. The vampire novels are biting the romance novels on the neck, and claiming them for the undead.

The Durutti Column

Now I'm off to the bookshop to buy a couple of "Jennings and Darbyshire" books and a Fodor guide to Tehran. Look out for me at the next Booker Prize.
19 comments this item posted by the management 3/11/2010 01:21:00 AM


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