Already, this blog’s revealing more about me than I wanted to know. It turns out that I’m not only mindlessly cruel to poor James McGowan, who has done nothing to me. I also read the Guardian too much. This week’s Jon Ronson article is about the mindless cruelty of blogs. “Blogs are bringing out the worst in people.” “We sit alone in our rooms, becoming more and more isolated from society. And, inevitably, this turns us into mad, yelling, wild-eyed loons.”
I wrote the other day that James McGowan is a moron. But of course James McGowan isn’t a moron! He’s translated Baudelaire! He’s very nearly a genius! I can’t even speak French!
While I’m at it, I seem to remember mindlessly insulting David McDuff as well. A poet and a scholar! A hard-working man of letters! Labouring to bring us the best of Russian literature (not just Bely but Babel too!). For, no doubt, less money than he deserves!
How could I be so cruel to these talented men? What if they Google this page? James McGowan; David McDuff: I’m sorry. If you get in touch, I’ll send you each twenty pounds, as an apology. You’d better send some proof of identity. A photocopied passport or driving license, perhaps. We can work it out when you contact me.
And what about John Browne? Didn’t I imply that he was some sort of servant of the devil?
But I’m pretty sure he doesn’t need money. And there’s a letter of support in Saturday’s Guardian signed by 67 names. (Virginia Bottomley; Philip Gould; Nicholas Serota). So I guess he doesn’t need support either.
Still, I’ll try not to be so rude in the future.