In praise of fulsome mediocrity…

Great blog from Richard Lea at Culture Vulture, who pay due fealty (eh?) to the great adjectival talent one unsung literary daughter of Victorian Belfast, Amanda McKittrick Ros at the Belfast Literary Festival. Richard (clearly smitten) kicks it off:

Ring out those ringing bells, ting-a-ling! Sing out those singing songs, sing-a-long! Hark! The day, so long, so long despicably delayed, thus far disappointingly denied, the day of high happiness has hastened here at last, next Tuesday hence, when rightful wreaths of writerly renown will wreath themselves – at last! – upon the brow of Amanda McKittrick Ros.

It almot makes you want to read her (ah, if only life were long enough). But you can hear more on Thursday in the John Hewitt Bar, 7.30, admission free!!

  • darth rumsfeld

    she was the most superb example of self-delusion until the Northern Ireland assembly

  • Fanny

    Yes, but before we get too smug and patronizing, let’s ask ourselves how many of our contemporary writers will be quoted in, say, the Oxford Dictionary of Quotations 2106 edition, and which bons mots of theirs will be quoted.

  • Amanda McKitterick Ross was to Irish literature what Ed Wood Jr. was to American cinema.

  • empey head

    Is it true that David Ervine quoted extracts from her book to a rather bemused gathering of the ‘Somme Association’ recently?

  • Fanny

    “Amanda McKitterick Ross was to Irish literature what Ed Wood Jr. was to American cinema.”

    LOL. But who would be her contemporary counterpart in Irish or British letters? Any candidates?

  • “Amanda McKitterick Ross was to Irish literature what Ed Wood Jr. was to American cinema.”

    actually that should read……….

    Amanda McKitterick Ross was to Irish literature
    what William Topaz McGonagall to world poetry.

  • sorry missed out a “was”

    “Beautiful Railway Bridge of the Silv’ry Tay!
    Alas! I am very sorry to say
    That ninety lives have been taken away
    On the last Sabbath day of 1879,
    Which will be remember’d for a very long time.”

  • Fanny

    And lest we forget Mr. Betyerman:

    Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough
    It isn’t fit for humans now,
    There isn’t grass to graze a cow
    Swarm over, Death!

    Come, bombs, and blow to smithereens
    Those air-conditioned, bright canteens,
    Tinned fruit, tinned meat, tinned milk, tinned beans
    Tinned minds, tinned breath.

    (And coincidentally my posting code is “fall41”)

  • Donnacha

    Julia A Moore (“more deadly than a Gatling Gun”)anyone?

    The great Chicago Fire, friends,
    Will never be forgot;
    In the history of Chicago
    It will remain a darken spot.
    It was a dreadful horrid sight
    To see that City in flames;
    But no human aid could save it,
    For all skill was tried in vain.

    And remember: “Literary is a work very hard to do.”

  • Fanny

    Aargh, that doesn’t even scan, Donnacha. At least Betjeman did his best in the sub-Kipling mode.

  • DK

    Nicholas, AFAIK William McGonagall also wrote a poem, in happier days, celebrating the opening of the bridge.

    I also remember reading a preferace to one of his books where he unwittingly published a letter from some piss-taking “student supporters” asking him where they could get the best beer and which landladies were the best looking on their pilgrimage to him.

  • Mick Fealty

    Off beam there Fanny, Betjeman was witty, cogent and occasionally sublime. Wrong category methinks!

  • Fanny

    That may be, Mick, but most of his stuff is still doggerel and wouldn’t have been out of place on funny greeting cards.