Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Wider Reading | An Address To A Burns Night Haggis

Tonight being Burns Night, I proudly joined in the noble yearly tradition by scalding my hand on an iron. I have every intention of cack-handedly tossing hot spaghetti into my own stupid face later on.

I have also - because I occasionally go jogging up Primrose Hill and am forced to gaze at the druidically-dubious 1792 Gorsedd plaque at the very top, thus making me part of the noble tradition of middle-class, braying Englishpersons who decide they like the look of niche British-rather-than-English traditions and co-opt it for themselves, while bragging to their dinner-party friends about how they're actually one-36th Scottish - written an 'Address To A Burns Night Haggis'. I hope you enjoy it.

An Address To A Burns Night Haggis

Dear Kate Mosse,
In 1995, you co-founded
the Orange Prize for Fiction
-which was denounced as sexist
and unnecessary by many prominent
critics, but that's besides the point.

In 2005, you wrote Labyrinth,
a paper-thin, overlong, poorly-written thriller
marketed towards the Da Vinci Code crowd
which was praised by the Observer (twice),
the Times, and the Sunday Times
- which curiously enough offered money off
when you bought it through them -
both as a commercial work
and as a 'serious' feminist adventure,
won a British Book Award
sold millions of copies
and is in talks to become a film.

Word-of-mouth reviews have been
less positive. And while you might blame
the Da Vinci Code marketing for that,
note the endless angry Amazon.com critiques that point out
the cliches, poor spelling and inaccuracies
in your "admirably bold endeavour" that is Labyrinth.
One review asks whether you think we (the public)
are mugs. Indeed we are. Millions of us, in fact.

Kate Mosse, you are a Burns Night haggis.
Just as the lofty Stieg Larsson is praised
and gabbled endlessly about in the media
for his confused, too-little-edited
mish-mash whodunnits with added rape
and bits about investigative journalism
and just as Piers Morgan is given a chatshow
in mainstream American television,
you are a stomach full of half-digested food
and we are reliably informed by all of the very prominent friends you've met at your stomach parties
that you are delicious
and that we should enjoy eating you.

Jon Ware

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