When you get on Twitter, and have the gumption to tag famous people in your posts, please know what the hell you're talking about.
I say this to you now, before you make an ass out of yourself in a public forum: fact-check, fact-check, fact-check.
But when you get schooled by Neil Gaiman...man, its kind of like sticking yourself in the eye with your own English degree, which I did just to prove that I have one.
I was sort of trying to partake of @neilhimself's discussion with others that Kurt Vonnegut's persona had perhaps been misinterpreted by a publisher. Then I suggested that "was this the guy that wrote A Clockwork Orange?" (italicized, because in English, this is the correct way to present a book title), which is why I deserve to have my English degree taken away. It only took Mr. Gaiman two words to knock me down a peg. A little fact-checking proved to me that Anthony Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange. By the way, the movie having been set in England should have been enough to remind me that I am both #americanlitfail and #britishlitfail, since Kurt Vonnegut was an American author and Anthony Burgess was British.
Quite honestly, it was about all I could do to keep myself from groveling at Mr. Gaiman's feet, screaming, "I'm literate! Really I am! I have an English degree! See?!", which would have been humiliating.
|My friend and|
professor, Dr. Ken Burchenal
teaches American Literature
and the Classics (among other
things) at UT and UTSA.
Seen here, hopefully playing
"Bad Dog" with The Happy Campers
"Outside of Texas," he said, "The rest of the world takes their cowboys very seriously."
Compounding this unshakable problem is the fact that MySA.com published a laughable review of American Gods soon after its publication. I'm glad I never got to read that review, though I can probably categorize it alongside my treatise on what not to ask Maynard James Keenan. Mr. Gaiman commented on it in his journal (you can see it here, Wednesday, August 8) and its something that, as a Texan, I have been trying to live down ever since. This is by no means a criticism of Mr. Gaiman's response to the San Antonio Express News. If only I could ever be in humor to give consequence to newspapers who employ ignorant journalists (that goes for The Current too!). Nothing brings out the militant literature buff like someone getting something wrong about you or your intellectual property. In my case, I'll probably be seeing a couple of angry deceased authors in my unprotected dreams tonight.
I would like to give a bow to Mr. Gaiman--again--and a bow in general to those of whom it has been my pleasure to get face-pwned in a literary debate, especially Dr. Allen.
If I take anything else away from today, it is that I am far to quick to feel belittled or cornered by criticism. As a writer, this is a bad thing. The urge to crawl into a hole and die is a testament to how badly I take constructive criticism, and how easily I can be intimidated--probably a side-effect of working in food service. In addition to brushing up on my Vonnegut, I'll try to accept a bit of constructive criticism in the form of what will more than likely be the rejection of my submission to the Blizzard Global Writing Contest. I found four technical errors in my story.
That said, I am going to be a fan girl now:
Did Neil Gaiman respond to a comment I made on Twitter?
Why yes, and in about three seconds. Man, he's fast.
Ah dude, Burgess wrote A Clockwork Orange? Mah bad...
I think I'd rather be schooled by Neil Gaiman than Dr. Allen or Dr. Ken. I've been wrong plenty of times in their classes, and I probably got schooled.
And in all three cases, I'm a better person for it.