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mumsnet in the guardian again ... hth... lol

(48 Posts)
SlartyBartFast Sat 01-Aug-09 12:19:02


actually the ever sensible penelope leach has a very good quote.

SlartyBartFast Sat 01-Aug-09 12:20:55

and i never read the review section but did half read this article

policywonk Sat 01-Aug-09 12:26:51

Gave up about a third of the way through (around where she starts creaming herself over the dreadful Cusk). Another writer who believes that only writing that deprecates the experience of child-rearing can be truthful or of value.

Threadworm Sat 01-Aug-09 12:43:11

No, I'm not sure that is right, is it? I scanned the article and thought that it was just a too-panoramic romp though a lot of often-bad writing about parenthood. The plea for not-niceness was against a sentimental and cheap version ofthe niceness of motherhood/babies? That dreadful Shuttle poem that she surprised me by being able to like for even a moment?

Wasn't it just another bad piece of journalistic writing about motherhood, with the novel twist of being about bad journalistic writing about motherhood?

LeninGrad Sat 01-Aug-09 12:43:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LeninGrad Sat 01-Aug-09 12:45:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Threadworm Sat 01-Aug-09 12:45:59

Surely it is a rubbish idea that we are somehow presented with a sanitised babies-are-loverly version of Plath. Her poems' blending of motherlove and suicide and self-harm, and her iconic status, are a really central acknowledgement of the not-niceness of motherhood.

policywonk Sat 01-Aug-09 12:47:25

You've lost me there Thready grin I didn't make it to the end so maybe I missed something. I thought I saw some lazy assumptions about mothers of young children (her characterisation of mumsnet, for instance, suggests she has spent almost no time here at all).

Threadworm Sat 01-Aug-09 12:48:42

shit. That is a polite way of saying 'you are talking crap'.

Threadworm Sat 01-Aug-09 12:50:24

I just meant that I disagreed with 'Another writer who believes that only writing that deprecates the experience of child-rearing can be truthful or of value ' -- because she was talking about bad writing on motherhood, not directly about the experience of motherhood.

policywonk Sat 01-Aug-09 12:50:39

No, not at all! I'm sure you read it more closely than I did. Whenever I see Cusk mentioned my mind pretty much runs off screaming.

Threadworm Sat 01-Aug-09 12:51:49

I don't really know who cusk is so didn't really respond to that part.

policywonk Sat 01-Aug-09 12:54:24

Ah right (x-posts)

But all her examples of 'bad writing on motherhood' basically involve people saying that they very much enjoy being with young babies, yes? (Or no?) She might call it 'sentimentality', but the dividing line between a wholehearted enjoyment of your babies/young children (which is necessarily an emotion-laden experience) and sentimentality is a matter of taste.

It seems to me that Cusk has built a career out of claiming to tell the 'truth' about motherhood - the 'truth' being that motherhood is boring, frustrating and makes you stupid.

SlartyBartFast Sat 01-Aug-09 12:57:13

i am too stupid for the Review blush

SlartyBartFast Sat 01-Aug-09 12:58:00

but then again i probably was pre-children smile

Threadworm Sat 01-Aug-09 12:58:18

Yes, peraps so. She gives herself a way a bit, perhaps, bu momentarily liking the crap shuttle poem. In her mind, the positive parts of motherhood are joined with sentimentalality. And she projects that onto others, so fails to see that there could be (and is) a positive but horrified(non-sentimental) picture of motherhood.

policywonk Sat 01-Aug-09 13:05:04

Yes, that's it I think <gavel>

What wrong with sentimentality, anyway? 'Derived from feelings of tenderness, sadness or nostalgia' - fine. 'Having or arousing such feelings in am exaggerated or self-indulgent way' - not ideal, admittedly. But you can have the first without the second. How is anyone supposed to write about their experience of raising small children without expressing tenderness (or, indeed, some sadness and nostalgia)?

I'm sure it's more a case of the Review being too stupid for you, Slarty grin

LeninGrad Sat 01-Aug-09 13:15:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SlartyBartFast Sat 01-Aug-09 13:23:36

agree with that.
will continue using the Review to line the guineapig hutch, as per usual

Threadworm Sat 01-Aug-09 14:07:20

Sorry. Everything I said was much too sweeping. Was posting too fast and had only scanned the article anyway. Sorry to be a bit wanky.

policywonk Sat 01-Aug-09 14:16:22

Sorry my dear, that sentimentality bit wasn't aimed at you. My mother always had a horror of sentimentality in literature, which I unquestioningly accepted, so I was musing to myself really.

Bumperslucious Sat 01-Aug-09 14:26:10

What a tedious article.

Heathcliffscathy Sat 01-Aug-09 14:30:08

oh policy, how can you say that about the cusk book? have you read it? it is beautiful...

i'll never forget the part where she is in floods at the albert hall (i think?) as she can't bear to be away for the first evening...have you read the book?? it isn't what you're saying it is imho.

pofacedandproud Sat 01-Aug-09 14:35:55

But she says she really doesn't like that awful Shuttle poem doesn't she? She was briefly seduced by some of the opening lines and then realised how generic and sentimental it was. I thought that was fair enough. Probably because I'm so distanced from any insight about literature at all these days, I was pleased to be reminded of those two Plath poems, so beautiful, and I think the idea of revisiting writers of great literature with the insight of a parent is an interesting one [read Frost at Midnight again thanks to the article] and the fact that many of the great female writers of the 18th/19th century were childless. Quite enjoyed the article blush
But yes pointless and patronizing reference to MN. And I've never read Cusk.

LENIN! How did I miss you'd had your babe? Congratulations! Will search for birth announcement now.

Tidey Sat 01-Aug-09 14:43:15

MN categorized by 'LOL'? This by far the funniest and simultaneously un-LOLish site on parenting I've seen so far.

The other sites may need everyone to pepper their posts with LOL after every sentence, but this site doesn't seem to.

I got bored reading the whole article so decided to just comment on the first paragraph.

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