Monday, May 01, 2006

Witches and confessions

Macbeth cannot hold a candle to my favourite three witches in the world. Two of them are fictional: Hermione Grainger and Ginny Weasley. The third is very real: the Wicked Witch of Publishing, who is currently featuring on her blog a characteristically excellent post about her experiences in a cigar bar with Ron Hogan. The posting covers a range of issues, which I'm glad to say the Witch will discuss in more detail in future, but I was struck by one comment she made, on the Kaavya Viswanathan affair. All the blogs have been buzzing with this story for the past week or more, and I for one find these obsessive chewings-over of the unfortunate or the thoughtless completely missable. However, one can always rely on The Wicked Witch not to follow the crowd: she has her own take on it, in feeling sorry for the "Indian princess" because, for the rest of her life, Kaavya V. will be associated in people's minds with this event. The Witch specifies Ted Kennedy in this context, but she could also have included James Frey, P G Wodehouse, Bill Clinton --- people who, whatever else they do in life, will always be associated with one foolish act. Of course, this also happens to people when something happens to them that is completely outside their control. Life is tough. Changing the subject to something more upbeat, Ron Hogan's partner in GalleyCat is the wonderful Sarah Weinman, who has posted on her blog Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind a link to a picture of herself at the recent Edgars. She looks absolutely lovely - I am sure she is too modest to ascribe all the credit to the photographer. The next posting on Confessions is Sarah's weekend round up of literary links to the weekend papers. You could spend the weekend just reading that one set of links.