Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

News Review


A brief post to point you to what two of my favourite writers said in the press today.

Barbara Ellen stands up for slatterns everywhere in her weekly Observer column. She says one thing worse than having a grubby house is cleaning it, and describes her “freestyle” attitude to cleaning. She also mocks those who clean their house before their cleaner comes. That would be me, folks. Every Wednesday morning, I’m running around frantically tidying things away so it’s all nice and neat for the lovely Frau M. Who I respect and cherish and thank God for.

Then there’s a bit of a spat going on between literary reviewers and litbloggers, the former saying web reviewers are amateurs who like to shoot their mouths off and the latter saying literary mandarins should face the fact that the tide has turned. Read about the furore here. When you’ve read the article, click the link to the blog (“The blogosphere takes on the power of the press”) and have a surf through the comments. There, standing up for litbloggers, championing the cause is the one, the only Litlove.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

9 thoughts on “News Review

  1. Go Litlove!

    I am so sick of elitist prats sneering at ordinary people for using the internet for purposes of self expression and communication. People are social and creative beings. The fact that someone has not dedicated their life to reading and critiquing literature “correctly” does not mean they aren’t entitled to have and to express their views on a book. Similarly if someone wants to make a little film of their cat and post it on Youtube why shouldn’t they? Almost certainly its not going to be of a professional standard but so what? If they enjoy doing it and if a few other people enjoying seeing it then the sum of human happiness has been added to. I have no time at all for people who think they, and a few of their chums, are the only ones with any stake in cultural life.

    And I noticed the guy in the article praised Nick Hornby and said something like how good it is to have people like him doing professional criticism. Well I’m pretty sure Nick Hornby would be the first to disassociate himself from any kind of snobbish claims that tried to close off cultural dialogue to all but the so called elite.

    Rant over.

  2. I quite agree, and thanks for saying so very eloquently, Ms Make Tea! I think that people like John Sutherland are running scared because their little cultural cul-de-sacs are being threatened. I think there’s space for everyone, and as many litbloggers including Litlove, have been saying, it’s refreshing to read reviews from people who are not being paid or are not receiving freebies to do so.

  3. What Ms Make Tea said!! I’ve been going from link-to-link over the past hour, reading responses to that article — thanks for pointing it out, Charlotte. For me, the most disheartening aspect of the conversation has been the disdain with which litbloggers (and by extension, readers and the book buying public) are seen by the critics. Way to bite the hand that ultimately feeds you.

  4. On the subject of housework – in the days when I had cleaning ladies, I used to tidy up before they arrived and quite often work alongside them too.

    The tidying up was because I was paying them to clean, not tidy, and why waste money paying them to do something I could do better than they could, instead of paying them to do something they could do better than me?

    The working alongside them is simply because I canNOT sit around and be waited on by someone else.


  5. I wish I had a cleaning lady. Can’t afford it. But I have a way of dealing with it. I have an altar ego, The Maid, who comes in and cleans my house about once a week. I can trust her not to steal my stuff, because it is her stuff too. And so I can sort of pretend I’m not really doing it.

  6. Kerryn and Ms Make Tea, you could take a look at She had some very eloquent things to say about being published/being paid not necessarily being a guarantee of quality writing.

    Aphra, yes me too. I agree that it’s not my lovely lady’s job to tidy up after my family – that’s our job. And she certainly does clean a lot better than any of us.

  7. ha! It’s funny you should have found that. I’ve never commented before on one of those kinds of sites, but I just felt so cross at all the silly attitudes, it put me into my scolding-mother mode! Well really, it’s just an attempt to provoke bloggers into further angry behaviour so as to make their angry and unreasonable writing a self-fulfilled prophesy. The media really, really gets up my nose sometimes.

  8. We clean out toilets, “straighten up,” and put away items that would get in the way of *REAL* cleaning for our (God-sent) housekeepers. One thing Mom and I feel is key to keeping ourselves real–cleaning our own bowls. “No one else should have to clean up your shit.” 😀

  9. I think I could do with a tidying-lady to come in before my cleaning-lady too.

    Isn’t it a shame that those professional lit people are so insecure that they feel threatened by us mere blog people – don’t they realise that there is plenty of room for all of us and a place for both sorts of review.

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