Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Jasper Gerard prepares to strike terror

Laugh of the day is the news that the Observer’s court fool, Jasper Gerard, is writing his first novel. Apparently it’s a comic tale about terrorism, an unpromising incongruity that may be described as Gerard-esque; or simply as typical. But as he tells the London Evening Standard's media gossip: “A bit of English lampooning is the best way we have of undermining the terrorists.” I like the "bit of" bit.

While it is entirely possible that Gerard’s book will strike terror in your average Al-Qaeda operative, perhaps seeking a little light relief between internet bomb-making courses, I predict that, if published, it will more likely undermine any decent reader’s will to live, mine especially. It’s not that one wishes Gerard to fail, you understand. It’s that one knows he cannot do comedy, as his execrable and ham-fisted Observer column demonstrates each week. An ape in a Murano glass shop might exhibit greater finesse.

I tend to think of lampoonery as light-hearted satire or caricature, as in National Lampoon. It will be interesting to see how Gerard renders absurdity absurd ... in a giggly way. TerrorLit tends to the heavy: Conrad’s The Secret Agent – I think the first novel about modern suicide bombers, published in 1907 – reflected on terrorism but actually satirised England; Dostoevsky in The Possessed nailed bourgeois resentment as embryo of “terrorism”; Don DeLillo in Mao II demonstrates how the terrorist now has the power to sculpt the “inner life of the culture”, whatever that is.

Conrad, Dostoevsky, DeLillo ... Gerard. No, doesn't quite work, does it? Wrong literary genome. But at least the Observer will review him (if he's still in their employ at the time of publication).

11 comments:

The Daughter-of-a-Bitch said...

I suppose Jasper would be looking forward to reviewing in advance Arcati's first novel with the same objectivity and absence of malice, if he had the slightest idea of its existence. :-)

Anonymous said...

How do people who plainly cannot write get jobs as, er, writers?

Arcati said...

Stick out tongue, drop recipient's trousers, insert.

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not there are worse writers than Jasper Gerard. Jasper is of course very very awful but consider Ella Windsor. Or Peaches Geldof.

Arcati said...

Nirpal Dhaliwal is possibly worse even than Gerard. Dhaliwal's only qualification to write is that he married the idiotic Liz Jones. To the London Evening Standard he's the voice of the London Lad - and what a voice: banal, lazy, fuzzy, boring. Makes Gerard seem lyrical, except he isn't.

Duralex said...

In french, this little treat is called "feuille de rose" (rose leaf). Very enjoyable. :-)

Duralex said...

<< Stick out tongue, drop recipient's trousers, insert. >>

In french, this little treat is called "feuille de rose" (rose leaf). Very enjoyable. :-)

Anonymous said...

Arcatiosa, why do you keep calling the Evening Standard the LONDON Evening Standard? You sound like an Americano...

Arcati said...

To distinguish the paper from any other Evening Standard extant - I have no idea whether there is. perhaps in New Zealand.

Arcati said...

As to daughter-of-a-bitch - I am reliably informed that Jasper Googles himself as much as he used to wank, so rest assured the aspiring lampoonist is following Arcati with all the interest of a narcissist.

Anonymous said...

How did Gerard get his start in journalism? I'm presuming he's yet another toff with an inflated sense of entitlement.

Also, what is the point of Baz Bamigboye?