In Defense of Authors Perceived as Behaving Badly – Part 1/3

Self-published authors are often crucified for defending his or her work against negative Internet book reviewers on sites such as Amazon and Goodreads, but I think, under certain circumstances, that there is nothing wrong with an author—no matter how published—to stand up to negative reviewers and critics.

I have done it. In fact, it may be the duty of an author to defend his or her work against negative reviews that may only represent a few opinions but not all.

I’ll explain how I think this should be done in part 2 and 3 from this series of posts.

For example, Bill Styron “defended (his work as an author) vigorously and ridiculed the attacks (of his critics)—they utterly failed to understand the purpose of literature. He gave not an inch.” Source: Bill Styron, The Ups and Downs by James Salter, The New York Book Review of Books, January 10, 2013, Volume LX, Number 1.

However, Bill Styron was not a self-published author. In 1968, he won the Pulitzer Prize for the Confessions of Nat Turner, in addition to other awards. Then in 1980, he won the National Book Award for Sophie’s Choice (turned into a film by Spielberg that won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award).

Yet, Styron had critics that did not like his work, and he felt “they utterly failed to understand the purpose of literature.”

Styron was not alone in how he felt about some critics/reviewers.

“I have learned not to read reviews. Period. And I hate reviewers. All of them, or at least all but two or three. Life is much simpler ignoring reviews and the nasty people who write them. Critics should find meaningful work. ” – John Grisham (as of 2008, his books had sold over 250 million copies worldwide)

“Decadence is a difficult word to use since it has become little more than a term of abuse applied by critics to anything they do not yet understand or which seem to differ from their moral concepts.” – Ernest Hemingway

“Writers are lampposts and critics are dogs. Ask lampposts what they think about dogs. Does the dog hurt the lamppost?” – Paulo Coelho (Coelho has published thirty books that have sold more than 150 million copies in over 150 countries worldwide and his work has been translated into 71 languages.)

Continued on January 21, 2013 in Part 2 of In Defense of Authors Perceived as Behaving Badly

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Sexiest Woman Alive – Really?

Who decides Esquire Magazine’s sexiest woman alive that the American media touts as the World’s hottest woman?

And who decides the Academy Awards; the Noble Prize in literature, and the Pulitzer, etc?

For 2012, the so-called sexist woman alive was Mila Kunis.

At Esquire Magazine, the final decision may have come down to one person because in most publications even in countries with a so-called free press (free from government interference but not free from corporate influence), the final decisions usually belong to the editor or publisher—one person.

The Academy Awards are televised in more than 100 countries as if these awards represent the film tastes of most if not all of humanity.

However, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), a professional honorary organization, maintains a voting membership of 5,783 as of 2012. These are the people that decide the winners of the Academy Awards.

Since its beginning in 1901, the winner of the Swedish Nobel Prize for Literature has been chosen, in accordance with Nobel’s wishes, by a five-member committee of lawmakers (all older Caucasians) elected by the Norwegian parliament, the Storting, and assisted by specially-appointed expert advisers.

Today, the population of Sweden is 9.5 million. Alfred Nobel (also known as the merchant of death) was the inventor of dynamite (he was a weapons manufacturer) and made his fortune selling products to blow up things such as people. The money he left to establish the Nobel Prizes came from inventions used to kill more people faster.

The first Nobel Prize in Literature was in 1901 and went to Sully Prudhomme (1839 – 1907).

Sully who? I’ve never heard of this guy. I Googled lucky Sully and learned he was a French poet and essayist born in Paris.

This year Mo Yan, a Chinese author, won the award and immediately received criticism from so-called Chinese democracy advocates, because Mo Yan has never protested that China should adopt an American/Western style democratic government.

Mo Yan’s literature deals with upheavals in Chinese history. At the 2009 Frankfurt Book Fair, he said “literature can overcome the barriers that separate countries and nations.”

Too bad that most Americans never read a book again after leaving high school (I’ve read this number is 80% of US adults).  If you don’t read, you cannot help overcome these devisive barriers that Mo Yan talks of. Especially if you are one of the millions that listen to talk radio shows such as Rush Limbaugh.

Then there is the Pulitzer Prize selected by a 20-member board that consists mostly of major newspaper editors and executives, along with six academics including the president of Columbia University and the dean and administrator of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The administrator and the dean cannot vote. The board elects its own members for a three-year term (excluding the dean and the administrator). Members of the board and the juries are selected with close attention “given to professional excellence and affiliation, as well as diversity in terms of gender, ethnic background, geographical distribution and size of newspaper.” Each year, the chair rotates to the most senior member. The board makes all prize decisions.

There are more than SEVEN BILLION people on the planet.  More than 1.34 billion live in China; 1.2 billion in India; 313 million in the US; more than 500 million in the 27 member states of the  European Union, 248 million in Indonesia, 205.7 million in Brazil, etc.

Do any of these countries have voting representation at Esquire Magazine, the Academy Awards, the Nobel, the Pulitzer, etc?

I think you already know the answer.

Going full circle back to the so-called Sexiest Woman Alive, half of humanity are women—about 3.5 billion.  For a few Western editors at one magazine, mostly Caucasians I’m sure, to claim that one woman is the sexist woman alive is ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ridiculous.

In fact, as one man, I often see women that beat Mila Kunis as the sexiest woman alive. That is my individual opinion of course, which doesn’t count since I am not David Granger, the Editor-in-Chief of Esquire Magazine.  I don’t subscribe to Esquire and have never bought or read a copy.

I must be really missing out!

To be more realistic, instead, Mila Kunis should be called Esquire Magazine’s Sexiest Woman Alive of 2012, and then Esquire should tell us how many people decided she was the winner of that dubious title and how many people Esquire represents: Esquire claims it has a customer base of 2,698,000 adults in 21 countries—69.6% are men and 30.4% are women; 44% have graduate degrees and 18% have a Post Grad Degree.  The median age is 44.5.

At least programs such as American Idol lets the millions of people that watch the program decide the winner.

Discover The True Value of American Idol

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”