Jonathan Freedland et noms de plum

I came across an art­icle yes­ter­morn writ­ten by Jonathan Freedland. For those who don’t know, Mr Freedland is a colum­nist for one of the UK’s left­ish news­pa­pers, the Grauniad. (See a full list of his columns.) He’s been put­ting him­self about recently — appear­ing on the BBC’s Newsnight Review, for example — and his thrust to the fore­front can only be attrib­uted to the pub­lic­a­tion of his debut nov­el, The Righteous Men. Now, by all accounts, Freedland is a gif­ted colum­nist (he was named Columnist of the Year in the 2002 What the Papers Say awards), but The Righteous Men has not drawn stel­lar reviews — only two so far, and neither very pos­it­ive (see Grumpy’s art­icle for a sum­mary). This is yet anoth­er example, I fear, of a journ­al­ist who thinks that, because he uses words for a liv­ing, he can write a nov­el. How many house paint­ers make the trans­ition to por­trait­ure?

I don’t want to talk about the book here — because I haven’t read it — but I wanted to draw your atten­tion to the Guardian art­icle I men­tioned above. In the art­icle, which I read last even­ing, Mr Freedland waxes the barely lyr­ic­al on the adop­tion of a nom de plume. The diges­ted read: “It star­ted as a bit of a joke, then my agent liked it, so I kept it.” Mr Freedland, point­lessly, goes on to list many oth­er authors who used noms de plume, and then the art­icle ends. It’s a piece of fluff copy with abso­lutely no aim that is, clearly, designed to keep the ball of his book in the air.

To para­phrase John Barlow, I don’t know why I wrote any of this. (Check out Grumpy’s thoughts on Barlow’s Intoxicated.)

Oh yeah, it was to test my new blog pic­ture sys­tem. Look! It has a drop shad­ow. I love my Mac.

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Author: Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

2 thoughts on “Jonathan Freedland et noms de plum”

  1. Thanks, Lev. I think I heard about that via Grumpy Old Bookman. Ah, the mys­ter­i­ous back end of the Guardian…

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