Saturday, 5 May 2007

The Crack: comments

One of the best things about posting a story on East of the Web is that readers can leave their comments. Appreciative ones are delightful, reasoned criticism is welcome (though not always enjoyed), unreasoned criticism (as in 'this story sucks') simply dismissed.

But the most enjoyable comments are the ones that come from left field and tell you more about the commenter than the story itself. Like this, from someone who signs himself Frankie:

I realise there are some who thrive on this style of writing but as a hetrosexual (sic) male, who doesn't give a damn what the cookies and cats smelled of, i'd be lying if i said i liked it.

It reminds me of the linguistic research done on gender and the language of colour. Show a woman a pullover and she'll say its mauve, or puce, or violet, or purple, or eau-de-nil. (Well, OK. Not eau-de-nil.) Show the same pullover to a man and he'll look mildly offended and mutter reddish.

In this story the smell of the biscuits ('cookies': so Frankie's American) has a certain relevance to the rest of the story, so maybe Frankie should have made more of an effort -- though he did read the story to the end, and I thank him for it. But the comment has made me wonder how much I enjoy sensual description as a reader. Maybe not quite as much as I enjoy it as a writer.


David Isaak said...

Actually, I find that smell is the sensory channel writers most often ignore, and the one that most often adds extra vividness for me as a reader.

And, I might add, that even though I myself am a flaming, cookie-eating hetrosexual American male, I don't have the usual inhibitions about touching other guys. In fact:
You’ve been tagged.

Charles Lambert said...

Crikey! As we say in England. What do I have to do? Answer on my blog? On yours? On one picked at random from the blogosphere?

Tell me more (and give me time... I'm horrendously overworked!)

Charles Lambert said...

I've just read your post more carefully and I've worked out what to do all by myself. Not bad after seven hours teaching and three on a train.

I'd better get tagging while there are still some writers left.