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  1. x_raichelle_x
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    x_raichelle_x Contributing Member

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    Why is there so much abuse?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by x_raichelle_x, Dec 22, 2009.

    It really worries me that when I go to the book aisle in Asda, or Tesco, there is so manyautobiographical / biographical books that have been written by somebody who has been abused or been through something traumatic.

    They're not necessarily authors, & I appreciate that they have been through something awful and the writing process may be cathartic for them; what worries me is who reads all of these books? Who gets pleasure from reading about somebody else's horrible experiences?

    The same goes for all the magazines - Pick Me Up, Chat, That's Life. My mother-in-law looooves these, but I just can't understand how somebody can be happy to read through all of these real life accounts of pain and pure nastiness?

    Just wondering if anybody else had thought the same as me?


    disclaimer: I really do feel bad for these people. I'm not having a go at them, it's the readers, not the writers, that I have a problem with.
     
  2. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I have noticed the same thing with poetry. A lot of new poets always talk about abuse or hardships they have faced. Maybe they think their work is more publishable if readers sympathize with them. Unlike you, I actually do have a problem with the writers. I am not doubting their sincerity, but most of the stuff about abuse, etc. is written so poorly that I usually stop reading midway.

    I don't think anyone really gets any pleasure out of reading such books/stories/poems. I can only guess that reading about other people's hardships makes them feel better about their own problems. It feels better when someone else is facing the same problem or has the same types of problems as we do. Of course, this is my take on it. I'm sure there are people out there who do read this stuff pleasure, but I don't see anything wrong with that.
     
  3. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I've found the exact opposite to be honest. Most of the modern poets I come across that are worth their weight concern themselves with abstraction, but it could be the people I'm coming across.

    Back to the books and magazines; lots of people seem to like things that are apparently 'real life', it's been happening for a long time and it might be why rubbish like Big Brother and Jeremy Kyle has been so popular.

    ASDA and Tesco, remember, are not book shops. They are just appealing to a market that does, in fact, exist.
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I meant new poets as in aspiring poets.
     
  5. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    So did I.
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Hmm...maybe it has to do with the fact that American poets write about different things than other writers around the world. Even a hundred years ago, one can see a vast difference between American writers and European writers. This goes for both novels and poetry. The same is probably true for new writers as well.

    Also, I have no idea what ASDA and Tesco are. I'm guessing they're some sort of supermarkets?
     
  7. LadyLazarus
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    LadyLazarus Senior Member

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    I've read quite a few books like this. I didn't enjoy them. But I what I was seeking was not details of abuse, but how to heal. Something these books so often fail to include.

    It's just 'this horrible thing happened to me, but now I'm okay'. Which is very disconcerting for me.
     
  8. writewizard
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    writewizard Contributing Member

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    I think that it is becuase those are the only people who have a story "good" enough to tell. Most "normal" people, or people without problems, can't ever write a novel. Very, very rarely, can they. I remember one acception. Now if only I could find the title...
     
  9. Cosmos
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    Cosmos Contributing Member

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    Without conflict there is no development and without development there is little interest in a character. I'm not saying that some of the stories aren't outrageously bad with how much they stuff suffering in your face, but in the end without lots of conflict a story is rather dull. It's why bad news makes the news much more often than good. I'd rather more good but it simply isn't as interesting.
     
  10. Sabreur
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    Sabreur Contributing Member Contributor

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    Smells of the oddest sort of elitism to me; the type of nose-turned-up snobbery that if you haven't "suffered" then you aren't a true "artist."

    Now, let me be frank. **** that. Anyone with sufficient talent, determination and other such intangibles can accomplish whatever they will. Suffering is not a prerequisite for anything, least of all creativity.

    And believe me, there are few (if any) so-called "normal" people out there. Everyone suffers, we fortunate few with mental illness do not have a monopoly on suffering.
     
  11. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Not in my experiance. I find the best stories are those without lots of conflict, as lots of it can be just too much.
     
  12. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Conflict takes many forms. Obstacles also serve the same function in plot.
     
  13. Cosmos
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    Cosmos Contributing Member

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    I probably should have clarified, sorry. When I do say lots of conflict I don't mean every page filled with some new horror that one must trudge through. I mean enough problems occuring as to make the reader become anxious and excited for the character. Certainly times with no rewards would leave the story cheap and the reader feeling robbed, but if there's little to cause problems for the character, it's just not as interesting, as least to me. Without pain, there is no gain, as they say.
     
  14. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I just find lots of conflict to be too unrealistic, and melodramatic for my tastes. 'Video-gamey' as one of my friends likes to put it.
    However, to each man his own I guess.
     
  15. DonalL91
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    DonalL91 Member

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    I think some writers of these kind of books are just as talented as other writers in different genres.
    I also think it is ridiculous to say that if you read these books you are interested in the "pleasure" gotten from reading of abuse. People like reading true crime, watch horror movies and people being murdered horribly... how is this any better? I think these kind of books can be very interesting and can touch peoples emotions on a different level than a lot of other book content.

    I don't see the point in giving out about these kind of books. Just my opinion...
     
  16. Tessadragon
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    The 'woe is me' biographies are depressing not uplifting. I find it worrying that people would find them comforting even if they do think it's better to think 'thank goodness there's someone worse off than me'. Some of the authors may be outright liars such as that barrister.
    I'll admit i read the 'chat it's fate' magazine and the same one for take a break...though only because i use them for ideas occasionally. It's very revealing that in a book entitled 'beat the recession', one of the tips was to 'sell your story to a magazine'.
    Novels, real novels I think of them, give fake characters trials and tribulations. That is different to these real people who are using the opportunity to whine and whimper for money.
    Although I am being harsh on these people who see it as a good income to sell their whines, I can readily admit that I could have filled their number of pages with the same kinds of things, being descended from a rapist, etc.
    Key is: I write to provide escapism, not just to earn money. That to me, is what a writer is: they write for the sake of writing and of prestige, not just the sake of a cheque.

    Though if you want a good parody of the 'woe is me' biographies, there's a book called 'My Godawful Life' by Sunny McCreary
     

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