Friday, May 09, 2008

Will Self - 'Tony Parsons focus-groups his novels'

Will Self

Novelist Will Self gives Tony Parsons (“you know, Julie Burchill’s old [ex-] husband”) a good slagging in a highly revealing interview with Rob McGibbon on the Access Interviews website. Says literary Self of schlocky Parsons’ fictive methodology: “He focus-groups the plots of his books to discover if they’ll play with his target audience and he writes accordingly, like New Labour ... If I did that I wouldn’t be a writer, I’d be making disposable razors.”

In a wide-ranging conversation, touching on subjects as diverse as drug porn and his new novel The Butt, Self also lacerates the Observer over the time in 1997 he was caught snorting heroin on Prime Minister John Major’s election campaign jet. The Observer fired him for this outrage but he nonetheless describes it (and The Guardian) as “hypocritical" because the paper had “marketed me as a drug user … as a latter-day Hunter S Thompson.” Of that time he admits, “I was mentally ill.”

To see the interview click here


Anonymous said...

I can't read Self whereas Parsons is readable so there may be something in focus groups.

Gerry King said...

anonymous I am surprised you can spell it. Parsons readable - sort yourself out.