Saturday, February 22, 2003


The Wire's editor Rob Young vents his spleen gloriously against 'High Fidelity' author Nick Hornby for his new book '31 Songs' (March 2003, issue 229, page 4). Discussing how he has "no use for" Suicide's 'Frankie Teardrop', Horby declares: "I don't want to be terrified by art any more." This is enough (understandably, in NFE's humble opinion) to send Young into a splenetic rage. "Among other factors that make this tract so despicable", he points out, oozing blood invisibly onto the page, "are the lack of commitment or ideas, the relentless yet misplaced and laughably bungled political correctness [from an *Arsenal* supporter? Ed.], the low attention span, the desperation to be all things to all people, and the irritating, presposterous arbitrariness of that title - why 31 songs?" In this instance I'm prepared to go with the critique even without having read the book.... but that last comment cannot go unremarked. This is The Wire you edit, Rob. And if we can't allow a bit of good old preposterous arbitrariness on planet avant, where on earth can we have it? Not that you've missed a cunning literary illusion, or anything....

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