Thursday, September 10, 2015

HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHES SMUT

Here is the issue, which I learned about on June 12th, 2015, on CBC’s radio program called Q, which was being hosted on that day by Piya Chattopadhyay. 

Canada’s Harper Collins published a book that was rejected by 41 US publishers because of its content. This is the kind of content that it was rejected for containing: among other indecently provocative themes: sexual assault and faux incest. By faux incest is meant, not actual incest, but some kind of ‘flirtation’ with the notion, according to the author of the book, John Colapinto. This author has written for The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Rolling Stone magazine. And so it is unlikely that the 41 US publishing houses rejected him because they thought he was just another wannabe writer submitting another amateur manuscript. Can you imagine how polluted a book has to be in order for it to be rejected by publishing houses in the USA? Canada will publish it, though, because we are on the cutting edge of smut up here, I guess.

Not surprisingly, Colapinto likes to read books by Philip Roth and John Updike. He claims to be in the path of Nobokov when that author wrote ‘Lolita’—another thing that he should be too ashamed to admit. He says that he is “pushing the boundaries with elegance and skill.” Probably his skills are very limited. And you know exactly what I mean if you’ve read some of the stories that The New Yorker publishes. You don’t have to be a very capable writer to be published in Canada. You just have to edit and revise a few dozen times, obey the editor, and write stuff that is feminist friendly, pro-gay, politically correct, or obscene.

Colapinto’s book is obscene. You can tell just by listening to the author talk about it. And Piya Chattopadhyay couldn’t put it down, she admits. Piya likes to read obscene material, and, unfortunately, there are many Piyas out there. So stuff like this sells.

But it is better to quench attractions to obscenity, and to read decent literature instead. Colapinto’s latest book is ‘darn good,’ he says, and he is really excited about his next novel, which will be even ‘more provocative.’ He should take the advice of a character in a story of R. L. Stevenson’s that I read the other day. “I should be too afraid to chronicle the language employed by this young man to the Doctor, to the murdered man, to Madame Zepherine, to the boots at the hotel, to the Prince’s servants, and, in a word, to all who had been ever so remotely connected with his horrible misfortune” (The Complete Short Stories of Robert Louis Stevenson, pp. 82, 83.) It is apropos that Colapinto’s unclean book is titled Undone since becoming undone is what happened to the prophet Isaiah (see Isaiah 6) when he found himself, with unclean lips, before the holy throne of God. If a saint like Isaiah comes undone before God because of his unclean lips, how undone will a secular author be on Judgment Day who writes unclean stories for the public to consume? 

Yes, we should all be afraid to chronicle obscene themes in foul language and without an upright moral context, for God will bring every word into judgment. “Young writers should rebel from their literary fathers,” Colapinto says. No, young writers should imitate those literary fathers who, like R. L. Stevenson, shrunk from writing indecent material. “Good old Canada, I love you,” says Colapinto, for publishing his trashy book. The publication of trash is not something that Canada should be known for and it should not be celebrated. We should accept the testimony of another character in that story of R. L. Stevenson’s that I recently read, for it might dissuade us from slipping into what the Bible calls licentious behavior. Resisting licentiousness would save us from a lot of judgment in the end. About forms of debauchery, the character says, “I have tried them all, sir…all without exception, and I declare to you, upon my honour, there is not one of them that has not been grossly and untruthfully overrated” (Ibid, p. 46.) Solomon makes a similar statement in his autobiography called Ecclesiastes. If you will not believe a character in a fictional story, at least believe in a saint that God himself declares to have been the wisest man in the world in his day! “And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them…and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 2.10, 11.) Many modern playboys and sports icons have confessed the same in our day.

“Of making many books there is no end,” complains Solomon wearily (Ecclesiastes 12.12.) If a wise man was this weary of books in general and his own books in particular way back then, what would he say about the dirty trash that is being written today? Dissipation is not literature. It’s just bawdy imagination put to paper, created for those who haven’t enough self-respect and ambition to lift their minds above the level of a gutter. What deserves to be called literature never descends to the level of dissipation, which novels are so full of these days. And dissipation in books appears in more forms than ever before at this time.  

All forms of dissipation are overrated. Today’s novels are overrated. Canadian literature is overrated. The obscene material that Harper Collins publishes is overrated. And Harper Collins itself is overrated. 

This has been a Puritanical opinion on the moral state of Harper Collins in Canada. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That author sounds like a fool.