Friday, March 14, 2008

Jasper Gerard: A urinator of prose?!

Chris Klee writes of one of Arcati's favourites, The Jasper Gerard: "Gerard really can't even get elevated meanness, can he? As much as I suspect he lies awake at night hoping the prose fairy will have turned him into AA Gill in the morning, he structures even his reviews like a formulaic pseud. Apropos the restuarant review referred to below, there is, for example....

1. The opening sentence to establish intellectual superiority over "the masses" - ie a misappropriation of Kant

2. The matey simile/metaphor to introduce "the real world"

3. The ham-fisted pop-culture reference. 'Beth Ditto' - erk

4. Follows by another highbrow allusion: Mill, this time. Because although he understands, he's really not like the proles...

5. But, just so we don't lose readers entirely, why not pander to a few popular prejudices....

6. Review the food, in such a manner that the meal is evoked, but lacks all gout.

"Dungaree risotto"?! He's not even put enough work into his cliches. Has he never even heard of mung beans?

In fact, would it be entirely inelegant to point out the passing resemblance between our friend Jasper and Hector Bartlett, the "pisseur de copie" in Muriel Spark's peerless novel about London hackery, A Far Cry From Kensington?

Darling Chris
Don't be so mean about The Jasps. He's just a silly billy earning a crust to keep his wife busy with his accounts. I am impressed by his talking the Telegraph into making him its restaurant critic. As I've said before, editors respond well to sloppy seconds.
MA x

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't kiss the point. Jasper G is not ony a very uninteresting restaurant reviewer, but he has taken the place of one who was very good -- Mark Palmer. Why on earth sack the latter if the former is the best you can do in his place?

Madame Arcati said...

Oh yes, I'd forgotten about Mr Palmer. Personally I find restaurant reviewing almost as boring as most travel pieces. I wonder whether this may lead to a feud such as existed between the late Sheridan Morley and Toby Young after the latter was installed as theatre critic of the Spectator in an ill-judged attempt by the hideous Boris Johnson (I do hope no Arcatistes are going to vote for him!) to youthify the magazine. I would hate to think that an ageist might become mayor of London.

I've heard the oddest story about Obama. I don't know what to think. I may write privately to Mrs Clinton.

forgotten ones fund/stephmastini said...

oh you must! Please enlighten the Clintons; they need you some ammunition...I can't do it all...(it's a tongue in cheek retort Duralex!)

Anonymous said...

I see the Grey Cardigan in Press Gazette doesn't care for Palmer who's a snob apparently.

Anonymous said...

Since Mr Palmer's inamorata is a makeup artist, I think it unlikely he is a snob. Madame A may well be right that restaurant reviews are boring, but then so is business reporting. Yet there are good business reporters, and bad ones; the same holds for restaurant reviewers. Palmer was pretty good; Jasper is perfectly dreadful

Duralex said...

<< Please enlighten the Clintons; they need you some ammunition...I can't do it all...(it's a tongue in cheek retort Duralex!) >>

Uh ? I don't get it.