Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Robert Fulford, critic emeritus: Please attack me viciously in your next column


An open letter to Robert Fulford, culture critic emeritus, Toronto, Canada.

Dear Robert Fulford,

I am an obscure writer from Newmarket, Ontario. We have at different times crossed paths, but yours has always been the lucky and achieving way. I have watched your rise while at the Toronto Star, and certainly well before. And your recognition! Migod, you have more honorary degrees and published material than I today at my age have grey hairs.

Robert Fulford, I have asked favours of you before, but you were alsways sort of hard to light when it came to being a torch bearer for the likes of an upstart graduate of a technical university once jokingly called "Ryerson Pyromanical Institute", now a full blown institute of higher learning.
I do have a smugness about my alma mater. I at least earned my degree legitimately, but you got yours on sheer brilliance and writing ability, for which I, of course, hate you.

Robert Fulford, I would like to ask a favour of you.

In your next column of the National Post, will you attack me viciously as a bad writer, a fraud and a mountebank, hardly worth any ink at all?

I will certainly not sue.
An attack by an important critic is no small thing. Such attacks, say, in the New York Times, have, more often than not, led obscure writers like me to best-sellerdom.

Mr. Fulford, what have you got to lose?
Call me a pischer, call me a schmuck, but don't call me ignored.

Yours sincerely

Ivan Prokopchuk, B.A.A. (legitimately earned).

33 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Can I get in on some of that?

Anonymous said...

Reminds me of Salman Rushdie's Fiasco in the recent Indian Literary Festival.



Conclusion: Rushdie's loss was Rushdie's gain!

Anonymous said...

Eco-Innovators: Sustainability in Atlantic Canada, officially launched in Halifax on October 10, 2011 and again in Charlottetown on December 5. It is available now in bookstores across Atlantic Canada. "It is the best sustainability book that I have read since Geography of Hope," says Richard MacLellan, Halifax's Sustainable Environment Manager. Arts East Magazine named it to its Top 10 Atlantic Canadian Books of 2011 list - coming in at number 5 and joining luminaries like Sue Goyette, Wayne Johnston, Ami McKay, Marq de Villiers, Harry Thurston, and David Adams Richards.


Eco-Innovators is a collection of stories about the region’s most forward-thinking leaders in sustainability. These entrepreneurs and educators, activists and agitators, farmers and fishers have all made measurable contributions in their respective fields of interest and in motivating others to make change in their own communities. Each launch featured people from the book telling their own stories, and an MC (CKDU's Erica Butler in Halifax and author Jeff Bursey on PEI, who also doubled as photo/videographer).

(From Chris Benjamin).

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Charles,

Well, back in J-school, I was told I had more ability than judgment.

But sometimes, in a devilish mood, it seems fun to tweak the tiger's tail. :)

Chris Benjamin said...

Oh snap! I hope you send him that letter by email too.

Chris Benjamin said...

Also: how you feeling? Got the piss and the vinegar back anyway.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hi Chris,

Feeling good, but doc says the "creature" will kill me yet. John Barleycorn!

As for Robert Fulford, I did write to him once or twice complaining he had been saying snarky things about my writing, at least to his immediate staff, some of whom I knew personally. Mr. Fulford replied that he had made no such remarks, and that I was wrong when I quoted his words back to him (overheard by is secretary).He claims he had said no such derogaory things about my writing ("made all the mistakes that a firstnovelist makes")....and added, "I will get to your Black Icon when I have at least finished reading it."

Rick said...

Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant. Now if I can just get attacked by Kate Perry...

ivan@creatiewriting.ca said...

Thanks so much, Rick.

Congratulations on your growing list of publications.

...Yeah. Branded by Katy Perry would make a prety good career move.

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Donnetta said...

Just keep saying: Bring it on! D

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Yep.

Remember that dismembered knight out of Monty Python?

"Stand up and fight!" :)


Take care, Donnetta.

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JR's Thumbprints said...

I've received enough bad criticism in the court of law by a scumbag lawyer working independently about Wild Buffalo Wings. No spotlight needed here.

JR's Thumbprints said...

not "about" - subliminal perhaps, or just a typo - replace with "above" - no need to crawl under a rock either.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

JR,

Well, at least I can take some comfort in actually producing a novel, the sine qua non for prolific journalists who just can't write one.

Mr. Fulford did produce a brilliant autobiography, "Memoir of a Lucky Man." Some consider it a novel, but I say, in my green-eyed jealousy,it's bio. :)

Still, the man can write. Can write rings around us all.

Cheers.

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Chris Benjamin said...

I'm still waiting to have a Katie Couric gotcha moment.

What you need to do is crib your material from an obscure Brazilian writer and let it seep out. Worked for Jann Martel.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Chris,

I think you're readable enough and lucky enough to one day be interviewed by Katie Kouric.

As for Mr. Martel, yeah, the old Jewish guy he (borrowed?) the Pi hypothesis from--that old writer is gracious. Says he doesn't mind somebody using his idea. "As long as people read about the 'Life of Pi,' well, I'm happy that all can share."


Hoo-Ha!

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Chris Benjamin said...

He seems to have flipflopped on that one: “In a certain way I feel flattered that another writer considered my idea to be so good, but on the other hand, he used that idea without consulting me or even informing me,” Mr. Scliar told The New York Times. “An idea is intellectual property.”

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Happy Valentine's day all.

(From someone who has just had a financial Valentine's Day Massacre, thanks to my Ontario government).

Love,

Ivan

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Poor Mr. Skliar,

He sounds like a really nice guy.

And Martel can now tell?

I have myself over the years been tempted to steal from the great fabulist, Jorge Luis Borges...But he is dead, probably won't complain. :)

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Chris Benjamin said...

Scliar's dead now too. Not sure if he ever sued - don't think so. But when Martel won the Booker Scliar's book got lots of attention again. It was out of print at the time. So, like being ripped by prominent literary critics, being ripped off by arrogant Canucks has its benefits.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Chris,

Well, the dead can't sue.

I don't know all the facts of Mr. Martel's artful dodging, but, in all reverence, Jesu Cristo!

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