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Re: Konstanz continued, and some late thoughts on "Richard"

Re: Konstanz continued, and some late thoughts on "Richard"

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Im now into my 3rd week here and things are really starting to get into a nice pattern.
I have finally got the hang of the buses here and I always feel that once you know your way around the public transport system, that means you're part of the town. Its not that big a town here but I find myself hopping the bus a lot. My mates all live about a ten minute bus ride from me, as are most of the night clubs. But Im only one stop from the uni, so most days I walk to it, as the walk cuts through a forest and the uni itself overlooks Bodensee, the lake and the Swiss and Austrian border. Stunning.
Im still getting used to the rubbish system here. Everything has to be separated, paper, glass, bio waste...its driving me mad, though I know Im doing something good for the environment.
The bakeries here are too tempting. Theres one right beside my bus stop in town and I couldn't help pop in there and have a steaming mug of coffee and a vanilla pastry, looking at the Altstadt.

I had my first lecture yesterday, which was a bit stressful. I couldnt stop listening for a second or else I lost the thread of the lecturers meaning. Hopefully, Ill improve over the next two months.
Ive also fallen in love with the library here. I can indulge my passion for German films here infinitel and the library itself is stunning. Its decorated beautifully and very modern, with art works and private nooks everywhere to study in. It is actually more user friendly than my own Trinity library, I have to concede. You can take out an infinite number of books and theres no restrictions on the books you can take out and all the books are here on show, over 6 floors of shelving.
I started work on my reading for my dissertation yesterday and that really helped to clear my mind and put some order on my ideas. I had been sort of racketing around until that point, not really sure what I wanted to do. Now I have a better idea- Contemporary German literature, the idea of popular literature and does that mean a lowering in standard, form, theme, aesthetics and with special reference to women writers in Germany now, and me arguing that theyre actually being very literary, high brow and subversive. LOL, I need to make that more concise. But Im happy Ive got that far.

Also, though I missed the initial reception of "Richard" by Ben Myers, I do have very strong views on this book and will just put them under the cut here.

I got "Richard" about a month ago and read it. I didn't want to buy it, as I dont agree with what hes doing but I knew I would end up buying it. Its about Richey, I knew I wouldnt be able to restrain myself. I feel so bad though now that Ive supported that Myers man.
Ive been reaing interviews with him now and hes just coming across so...satisfied, so oblvious to what hes done wrong.
Now, Ill be the first to say that I think Richey Edwards does merit a book long study, but my God, not like this.
Myers has been comparing himself to Shakespeare, saying it was ok for him to write a fictionalised account of Richeys life because Shakespeare always used real characters for his plays. Yes, but Shakespeare usd historical figures, not people whos families and friends were still alive.
I read an interview with Nicky Wire, saying how upset he is by the book and the reason why, is something that I agree with entirely- Myers presumptions. His arroance in thinking that he, as an "outsider", could give an insight into how Richeys mind worked. Its arrogance and he fails to pull it off.
He doesnt bring anything new to the table. You would be better off reading "Everything" by Simon Price. Myers just recycles the story of the Manics and intersperses it with some made up scenes about Richey after he disappered.
There only reason that this book would be worthwhile, is if it was done well and brought some kind of new insight into Richeys mind. But Myers just skips over huge key events in his life (the Bobby Sands fascination, the weekend that led him to being hospitalised) in a few short paragraphs. He reiterates facts and doesnt delve any deeper into emotions, motivations.
Even as a work of literature, it fails.
Myers is a journalist turned writer. He is adequate at best. If you are going to be Richey Edwards, writing in the 1sr person, you need to be some writer. And what annoys me is something another reviewer picked up on- Richey would never have written like Myers writes. Just sentence after sentence, I feel this, I think that. And he employs this seriously irritating technique of having Richey argue with himself. It doesnt work.
Anyone who knows anything about Richey, who has read the notes from his JFPL folder or read the diary he kept for NME, knows he wrote in fragments, sometimes just a serious of nouns which had some resonance for him. James Dean Bradfield once said having a conversation with Richey was something hed never be able to convey to another person and that Richey was all intent and no punctuation. And were Manics fans for fucks sake!!! Weve read the Beats, Plath, the Modernists, we can handle a bit of literay experimentation! But Myers isnt up to it.

Also, there are many things in the book which are just wrong or offensive.
Myers has Richeys dissppearance be a spur of the moment thing, when his band mates have now been telling the public theyve realised it was planned way in advance.
Myers throws in this one wildly offensive line- "Nicky Wire. Part brother, part unconsummated lover." And he doesnt follow it up. You cannot just throw in a line like that in reference to a married man, father of two and best friend of the missing person, unless you are going to make it part of the book and somehow use it as part of exploring Richeys mind. Myers is being very careless there and I really hope that someone picks up on it.

I dont think he should have written it. It wasnt worth it. The only thing I would have been interested in is Richeys own autobio But you know, I dont think wed have ever had that either because in the end, I dont think Richey understood himself- how the hell can Myers? Especially when he goes about it in such a wrong, wrong way.
  • I couldn't possibly comment on the stuff about Richey, as I'm not a MSP fan, and don't know enough.

    However, I will say that you've been a very busy lady! The scenery and the library sound so gorgeous! Can you post some pics? My dad's actually half German (his dad was German), but I've never been. Will definitely go one day.

    And very cool that your friends are close (and clubs!) Lol.

  • (no subject) - space_dementia6
  • I think I've heard of that book, but hadn't really paid much attention. From what you've written though I agree with you that the guy probably shouldn't have written it. Also, anyone who compares themselves to Shakespeare vastly reduces their own credibility, in my mind XD

    Glad you're getting the hang of things in Germany! I am sooo jealous. It sucks living so freakin' far from Europe. And lol the rubbish system is SO crazy :P
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