September 5, 2001

I first read about the furor over Fay Weldon's new book "The Bulgari Connection" yesterday. I've only read a little of her stuff (back on the Oz trip; Mama Snookums is a big fan), but I liked what I read. I think it's ridiculous that people are making such a big deal out of it. If you haven't heard, she was contacted by the Bulgari jewelry company and asked to write a limited edition novel that they were going to give to some of their special clients. She had total artistic control, but she had to mention the name "Bulgari", like, a dozen times. Fine. She did it. It turned out to be really good, though, so now her publishers have decided to release it to the world. And all these hoity-toity authors are up in arms over her perceived selling out. Whatever. Artists have had patrons since the beginning of civilization. Playwrights have had works commissioned. Artists have been paid to paint flattering portraits of rich men's wives. Musicians have licensed their songs to sell cars and tennis shoes. I don't see the problem here. Snookums and I watched the Channel 4 News anchorman interview Weldon last night, and it was just ridiculous the way he kept trying to get her to admit that she was "ashamed" of putting commerce before her "art." She held up pretty well, though. I just wish the self-appointed moral critics of the world would mind their own business and leave the rest of us alone.

Comments

Damn grrl. You rock. Everyone should be free to make a buck or two with their own talents. Why perpetuate the myth of the starving artist? How 'bout a new myth... The solvent artist. I know, not quite as dramatic, but maybe it'll take off. Who knows?
» enki on September 5, 2001

I read another article the other day that pointed out how much "Great Art" the Church has subsidized. Shouldn't the Sistine Chapel's ceiling be in the same category as Weldon's book? The Church paid for it, and they got Bible scenes all over the place. What's the difference?
» Kris on September 6, 2001

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