Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dandy Gilver and The Cannibal Kitten Smasher?

Perhaps not.  Writing a series of detective stories about an amateur sleuth in the 1920s keeps me well away from the bit of the genre where we all start to wonder where it's going to end.  The tone would be a joke; worse than a sado-masochism series by an an author who couldn't use plain terms for genitals.  No, wait!  Bad example.  But you know what I mean.

Which is not to say I've never had complaints.  There was one time when someone at a reading said - in very schoolmarmish tones - that she hoped I wasn't going to be poking fun at religion again.  AGAIN?  It turns out she didn't like the line in Bury Her Deep (DG3) where I said "The Church of Scotland gets by on a little doctrine and a lot of scones."  I persuaded her that it was affectionately meant and we parted friends.

I imagine that most people's threshold is set a wee bit higher than that, but we've all got one.  I wouldn't have a problem with serial killers if the muse ever dragged me that way; they're so vanishingly rare in real life and so effulgently ubiquitous in fiction that (to me) they've become almost as cartoonish as zombies and vampires.


But if the muse started whispering a tale of serial rape in my ear I'd sing "La-la-la can't hear you" until she shut up again.  Partly that's because serial rapists are not rare and their victims are all around us.  Hence my trigger warning.  And likewise paedophila.  Empathy for survivors who might be kicked back to their worst moments by my writing would always stop me dead: there's a world of difference between being "offended" and being hurt.

Serious stuff.  So to finish, I'm sharing a video (click here) that always makes me laugh: three people, extremely offended.  Or as they would have it . . .


Unknown said...

I agree with you about pedophiles and serial rapists. I also get uncomfortable when writers dwell too much of descriptions of a female victim's body, especially if there's anything sexual about the description--an emphasis on the woman's beauty or scantily clad condition, for example. I think we have to be very careful about any mixture of sex and violence.

Catriona McPherson said...

Couldn't agree more, BK. I really don't like the way violence is sexy and sex is violent in a lot of popular culture. A hero grabs a woman, kisses her hard, she struggles a bit, he grips her harder and she melts? No hero of mine - he'd get a kick in the giblets.

Reece said...

Catriona -- There's only one word to describe that video you've linked to -- appalling.