Published on August 22nd, 2011 | by Lisa McInerney2
Sweary’s Jaw: A Novel Interpretation
If you confessed to not knowing who the Kardashians were, far from sneering at your blissful ignorance, I think I’d have to kiss you. There are so few innocents left in the world. A kiss would be the least I could do.
Kim, Khloe and Kourtney Kardashian are a veritable Cerberus of inanity and lip gloss, three vessels equally vapid and privileged and about as relevant to the real world as the threat of Godzilla. Everything about them is for sale – their weddings, their fallings-out, their bloating concerns, their likes and dislikes. Stars of a number of shiny, stupid shows, they truly epitomise reality TV, for though their carry-on is as planned and scripted as an episode of Sex and The City, actresses they are not. Their reality is TV. Their reality is celebrity. They exist privately to exist publicly, which is as sad for the onlooker as it is lucrative for them. At best, their ubiquitous personas are intensely annoying, at worst, a savage indictment of how cheap fame has become. Kim, the “lead” Kardashian, came to public attention because she was Paris Hilton’s friend and had a sex tape. None of the three has done anything as interesting since.
But perhaps their latest “project” is an attempt to change that perception, for the Kardashians have written … a novel.
Yes, all three of them. Honestly. A novel.
Dollhouse is a story about – yawn – a “glamorous, high profile and complicated family… based on our lives but we’ve added a lot of crazy fictional twists and turns”. Its name (which I’m hoping holds a modicum of satire, based on its suggestion of voyeurism and confinement and … oh, who am I kidding?) was chosen by a fan, and as everything is for the bargaining on Planet Kardashian, she’ll be paid with a guest slot. In the novel. Because it’s now perfectly reasonable to work an ego, freshly rewarded, into the plot of a finished piece of literature. Excuse me while I spew freshly-churned bile onto my Penney’s slip-ons.
I don’t think I’m being mean-spirited, or overly protective of my own vocation if I huff that not everyone has a novel in them, and that ghostwritten, celebrity cash-ins should immediately be made illegal in all jurisdictions. Not only is it that ghostwritten cash-ins are cynical, dishonest, and, for the most part, shite, but they also do untold damage to the artform. More celebrity cash-ins, less room for genuine authors, who may already have written books about glamorous, high profile and complicated families and now can’t get them read because the market’s clogged with preening airheads.
The Kardashians are by no means the first preening airheads to gobble a slice of the chick-lit pie –glamour model Katie Price has put her (brand) name to a number of ghostwritten novels, and more recently Snooki, inexplicable star of the inexplicable Jersey Shore, has “written” a novel despite admitting she’s only ever read two books in her life, and one of them Twilight. Finally, writers are being made feel the pain! cry the perfumers, fashion designers and jewellers, all of whom have had their thunder stolen by nipped and tucked figureheads who know how to rock a head of hair extensions. We all know that ghostwriting is nothing new, but it was easy to accept as a valid service when it was used to produce autobiographies and such for luminaries lacking in the literary arts. Faking eloquence is one thing. Faking the spirit of Scheherazade is quite another.
But, because everything’s for sale now, everything is available to those with more moolah than morals. Should you wish to sell yourself as a novelist, you can quite easily procure the means. And perhaps I shouldn’t be so hard on the opportunistic Kardashians, who “write” “novels” based on their “glamorous” “lives”. If there wasn’t a market for such unchallenging, predictable trash, they wouldn’t be flinging it at us, would they?