Wednesday, 29 October 2014

I like Richard Rohmer.  I really do.  But the fact that the chairman of the Royal Commission on Book Publishing wrote these poems, and that they were then published by a Canadian publisher -- or at all -- is a disgrace.

What self-delusional hall of mirrors does a guy have to live in to believe that these would exist in print except as a favor in return for a favor, or in hopes of a favor yet received?

And to have the natural-gas-tanker-sized balls to make the first one an attack on critics, who don't understand art, because they're just in it for the money?



  1. This from the man who begins How to be a Be$t $eller: "Let's get one thing straight at the beginning: the book you are going to write will be a best seller. Otherwise why bother writing it?"

  2. Um, that's How to Write a Be$t $eller,

    Both work, right?

  3. I like "How to be" better - you are your novels, your novels are you - why distinguish?

    The poetry in this book (of which I have not yet finished) is sometimes beyond belief - it sort of renders the ability to write parodies of any poetry impossible by virtue of the fact it's so earnest. How do you parody something when this stuff exists?

  4. By the way - try reading a section of one of the poems out loud.

    Especially the first one.

    Just try - I dare you.

  5. You guys are going to spoil it for me. Because I have it as an inter-library loan, I'm right now reading Sir John A.'s Crusade. Poems will have to wait for the weekend.

    Spoiler: There's a villain in it named Kelly.

  6. A villain named Kelly? Maybe Rohmer is Nostradamus and knew we'd being doing this blog one day...

    Wait a minute - the fact we're doing this blog and critiquing his work means that CRITIC is aimed at us.

    "If you are a critic and therefore a perverted, certified insanist with no relationship to the real world..."

    I need to get business cards made up where I can identify myself as a "certified insanist".

  7. What Stan said. These are beneath parody. Dreck that a fourteen-year-old would blush at, if she found it in a journal she kept when she was twelve. The man was 56 years old. If he'd just written them and put them in a drawer, you'd think, "Well, no harm done. You're just a headcase." But Richard Rohmer was a popular author and a respected political figure. And he gave these things to a publisher. And the publisher printed them.
    And Rohmer was in a position to influence government agencies to provide loans to publishers, to promote Canadian culture.
    There should have been a crown commission, and people should have lost their jobs.