A riposte

I got a comment on a previous blog expressing disappointment with one of my sessions at the Melbourne Writers Festival, which in itself does not worry me: people have different responses to the same material, and I approach all of my sessions with the view that if I reach one person, I’ve done something worthwhile.  However, one of the criticisms was that the students and teachers didn’t believe that most of what I said was true.  I can assure you, dear audience, that everything I uttered was the honest-to-God truth, and to think anything else is, frankly, insulting.  I am not in this business to sell a line: while I hope that I perform, I am not a performer (not these days, anyway).  My aim, following EM Forster, is ‘only connect’.  And the way I connect is through honesty: I don’t believe in soft-soaping intelligent readers and listeners, because that would be truly insulting. 

The most ironic thing is that the critic did not leave their name, their email, or their contact details: for someone having a go at my honesty, I think that’s pretty rich.

But for an answer to how someone survives the trials of suburbia in adolescence, you can’t go past this from the superlative (as in, I’m running out of superlatives) Simmone Howell.

4 thoughts on “A riposte

  1. Anonymous

    Hahaha, I find that hilarious too!

    I was at the Surburia session, and I found it hilarious, entertaining and informative. i loved it.

    i can see where the comment came from. you and simmone talked about some pretty far-out stuff that may not happen these days – and some of it was pretty unbelievable, but i went with it cuz i trust you both. it’s like writing a novel too – the reader will go along with you if they trust you, even if they don’t believe it or know themselves. i didn’t think you’d come to mwf to lie about that sort of stuff, what’s the point?

    but i can see if someone did.

    then again, i went for the pleasure of going. they were probably dragged along by their school!

    Megs
    bookworm-megs.blogspot.com
    http://www.meganburke.com.au

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  2. julialawrinsonwriter Post author

    Hey Megs, I neglected to say that the person did mention that they were a teacher. And you’re right, what we were talking about was pretty out there – but as we discussed later, it wasn’t even the half of it. And we chose to talk to the audience that way because we thought they would relate: these things are always a bit hit and miss, but some of the questions showed that some of them absolutely did. But, I will take the comments on board, and blog at a later date about escaping that type of suburbia … speaking merely from personal experience, of course!

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  3. misrule64

    Rudeness on the internet

    It never ceases to astonish me how rude people are on the interwebs. How dare she accuse you of lying—and to do so publicly AND anonymously is just sheer cowardice. Grrr.

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  4. Anonymous

    Oh really? A teacher? That’s interesting.
    I noticed that most of the groups were older, which was probably a good thing – a lot of what you talked about wasn’t really appropriate for younger kids.

    Perhaps a thing to consider is that it seems you and Simmone were similar in that you both wanted to get out and used drinking and parties to escape the everyday. Perhaps an author who grew up in “rich man’s surburia” would have made for another angle to be covered?!

    Either way, as you said, you can’t please everyone…

    Megs
    bookworm-megs.blogspot.com
    http://www.meganburke.com.au

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