The Same Could Be Said of Her Novels

Danielle Steel: “For 25 years, I’ve been asked to put my name on a fragrance, and Anna Wintour made the match. I finally decided if it brings me some money, why not?”

Am I bad for thinking about Danielle Steel crawling through an urban gutter without her financial safety net? I want to see Steel confronted by cokehead editors who demand that she learn how to write. And then I want to see her forced to come to terms, like the hacks who languish in the slush pile (thank you, editors!), with the almost certain fact that she has no talent. And if, sans the stupendous sales of her shitty novels, she ends up whoring herself out in a crackhouse or marrying some affluent bozo for money, I contend that this would be a nobler service to humanity than the relentless solipsism that steers her plastic and vacuous mug through newspapers.

I’m probably a bad man for thinking these things. But then I have an issue with people who do things exclusively for commercial purposes. I’m not against commercialism completely. I realize we live in a capitalist society and there are certain (ethical) things we must do to get by. But I do take issue with folks who would rather live extravagantly than write extravagantly (and by “extravagantly,” I single out not necessarily showy prose, but those who write with great nuance). The Danielle Steels, John Grishams, Dan Browns, and Chuck Klostermans of our world so thoroughly debase the great art of writing that the great fury I feel for their pestilent contributions to American letters sometimes has me walking for miles to calm down. Only someone with a sophist sense of the world could find comfort in these authors. Only an artless savage could anticipate any of their next books.

(via Bookdwarf)

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5 Comments

  1. I can’t believe I’m putting myself in the position of defending DS, whose books I did not enjoy when forced to review them, but if memory serves a few years back she financed an art gallery to showcase the work of unknown artists – don’t know whatever came of it since, but at the time it seemed like A Good Thing to do with some of her spoils.

  2. Hear Hear! Thanks for a beautiful post. Oh boy. Although i personally believe that putting your name on stuff so that people will be duped into buying it is the worst kind of sell-out, that Advertisement is the Ultimate Whore, and that people that have ummm… dedicated their lives to producing works of art should not do it. Athletes do it. Advertisement is incompatible with the brain. In fact, it exists to bypass the brain’s essential, defensive mechanisms.
    End ramble. Thanks Ed.
    ps. I guess that if we take the above into account then Rowling is the Whore of Babylon. But she *does* write a killer children’s book, dammit.

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