2.27.2006

Is this for real?

For all her charter membership in the irony, snarkasm and elevated eyebrow deadpan, dry sense of humor department, there are times when Miss Snark isn't quite sure whether something is really a joke, or so awful that it IS a joke.

Most recent entry in the category: the LAT interview with Kate Braverman




(stolen from Publishers Lunch of course, where else!)

36 comments:

Debby G. said...

Kate who?

Blech.

Message to Kate from this California writer: Don't let the door hit ya on the way out of my state.

Message to New York: Sorry.

Stuart said...

Had to be a joke. No one is that conceited. Can they?

/reminds self that they can.

"Morticia Addams gone gypsy." Great line. :)

otto said...

Yes, I'd read that. What a pompous ass she sounds, and I don't blame agents for snickering over writers such as this. Masterpiece? Splendid mutation? She's a piece of work all right.

Ellen said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

Well, dear hearts, I've had my share of experience with Newspaper reporters. What they write after an interview is seldom what they actually heard.

However, my vote is for "so awful it really is a joke."

The interview reminded me of another "writer" whose name, like that of disgraced Pharoahs of old, has been removed from the monument tablets of the Snark Kingdom.

Bernita said...

Somethings just make you go throw up.

dk said...

Actually, and sadly, this seems pretty on the mark. The clue, I think, is her comment about (paraphrasing here) "going off her meds" so as not to interfere with her writing. She's better known here in L.A. than she claims - and now she most certainly is. (The woman *can* write, though. Not entirely my taste, a bit fervid, but...)

Molly said...

It's definitely not a joke. Kate is a very talented writer with serious mood disorders. We're seeing her on a high here where life is amazingly great and she is amazingly great ....

She has my compassion. She is clearly disconnected from the impact of her words and her behavior.

December Quinn said...

We like ourselves, don't we Kate?

Ellen, that was scary! She looks like my mother-in-law. If my mother-in-law was a self-important, scantily clad crackhead.

Lady M said...

I think it's a combination of very bad newspaper writing... (In other words not enough fluff in the story to make it real. *g*) and the sad fact that she is a bit of an odd character.

I watched that clip and if she is anything like she acts on that stage, I can feel for the writer.

Ms. Braverman is definetely different, and while I often appreciate differences, I would have had a hard time trying to write an article regarding this woman, as she defies normal behavior for me.

But she is interesting.

And I loved the Morticia comment!

Lady M

The Gambino Crime Family said...

Yeah, it sounds like she was higher than a kite when she gave this interview. Than again, if she was a writer with more clout in the industry, I'm sure her PR person would've leaned on the reporter to do some judicious editing...

Anonymous said...

Kate Braverman is a very good writer, and if you don't know who she is that doesn't mean she's not good. Ahem.

And, if you read the interview, she states that she's been diagnosed as bi-polar. The National Institute of Mental Health lists among this disease's symptoms:

-Unrealistic beliefs in one's abilities and powers
-Poor judgment

It's well-known that people with bipolar disorder have mood swings during which they feel grandiose and invincible.

Yeah, it's obnoxious, but give the poor woman a break, and read her work.

Anonymous said...

Poor Bernita! You've been having a bad couple of days with that morning sickness, haven't you? :D

Lady M said...

Like I said, she is most interesting - and I should have mentioned, probably talented...

But as a newspaper writer, I would have had a very hard time writing about her.

You would have to walk a very fine line with the article, enough to make people interested, but not enough to send them screaming in droves away from her work - because of most people's lack of knowledge about mental illnesses.

I know, firsthand, how you act may be nothing like you are in real life.

(Oh yeah baby! Some of my best party friends are stodgy, stiff, "uppercrust" sounding writers, who you'd never imagine had cracked a beer, let alone a smile!)

I do hope I offended no one with my comments.

Lady M

Anonymous said...

Yeah, she's for real. Also, the lithium in the title of her book is one of the standard meds used to treat bipolar disorders.

Anonymous said...

My reaction to the article: 'oh, go cry me a river....'

Lady M said...

DOH!

*how you write - not how you act... darn it all - read my mind fingers!!!*

Bernita said...

That's so, Anon.
Gravid with things I should not say.

Existential Man said...

i read the L.A Times article and did not sense that she was anything but serious in her comments about not being appreciated in L.A. I think she was, indeed, serious in her sentiment that she is the best in the city but how much of this is said for attention is another issue.

This woman, besides some psychological and biochemical issues, clearly has a flare for performance art>> if you listen/watch the piece referred to by ellen, you can see she is able to be self-mocking while making her point...and actually, she reminds me of a good rendition of "Beat" poetry being performed to music.

So, i'm suggested she believes what she says, but also knows how to use the media for her own purposes--in this case, saying something outrageous that you wouldn't expect to hear an author say in an interview. But, hey, out
here we have all kinds of movie stars who are full of themselves (and not shy about broadcasting it) so this may just be her way of fitting in with them.

christine fletcher said...

Kate Braverman is an amazing writer. And, to echo one of the anon's, give her a break. Bipolar disease can be devastating, especially when the one affected chooses not to medicate. Read "Touched by Fire", by Kay Redfield Jamison, which looks at bipolar disease, creativity, and how closely intertwined they are in many artists. (The study on the prevalence of mood disorders among Iowa Writers' Workshop students is particularly fascinating!)

Anonymous said...

As a clinical psychologist, I can tell you that these sound like the grandiose statements that an unmedicated manic person would make. If this writer is bipolar and unmedicated, and the reporter/editor knew this, then shame on them for conducting the interview and publishing this piece.

Bernita said...

My reaction - as a disgustingly normal nobody ( emphasis on "nobody") - is that I'm really tired of the "mad poet" syndrome and also the "entitlement" excuses.

Anonymous said...

What "entitlement" excuse are you speaking of? Listen, we're not saying she was admirable to have uttered such stuff in an interview--we're just trying to see it in a somewhat sympathetic or humane light.

Do you like Picasso's work? I do, but the man wasn't exactly the apogee of great human qualities.

Main point: Kate Braverman is a very good writer, whether or not she's an irritating interviewee.

M. G. Tarquini said...

"Of course they admire me,...They wouldn't exist without me."

I say this about my kids all the time. If I said it TO them, they'd giggle.

Bernita said...

Insensitive, inhumane and unaccomplished lout that I am, I remain unsympathetic.

Sha'el, Princess of Pixies said...

This isn't at all on topic, but I tried the Crapometer for the first time.

http://crapometer.blogspot.com/)

I like it. It's helpful. Thanks, Elektra, for putting that together.

harridan said...

My mother, I truly believe, was bipolar. She had all the classic mood swings, which included those times when she was the greatest in the world and those around her owed all their accomplishments to her.

Sadly, she had a firm dislike for those in the medical profession. After all, what could they tell her she didn't already know? And what things they did tell her, she didn't want to hear.

When my book came out, she promptly went out and bought a number of copies ... which she then signed for all her friends.

Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

Bernita, sympathy is good for a writer's soul! ;)

Bernita said...

You seen to have righteously concluded that I have none, anon.

Anonymous said...

No, I am sure you have lots in many situations... I was just gently pushing you to try to see it my way, which I will now cease doing!

Bernita said...

Good.
I didn't try to convert you.

Anonymous said...

Many bipolar people don't want to take meds because of how it makes them feel. Dealing with it seems to be a better choice--although it certainly isn't most of the time, but in their minds, it is. My son-in-law chose not to take the meds and put a gun to his chest instead. You can't imagine the mood swings these people have. Whether she can write or not, if she can deal with being bipolar without medication, she is a star as far as I'm concerned. Linda

Anonymous said...

So, knowing that Kate Braverman is ill (and bi polar disorder is an illness as we all know) why would the LA Times print this? Did they want to make her look like an ego obsessed bitch?

She MIGHT BE an ego obsessed bitch. Even bipolar people, when not manic, can be egotistical assholes. I'm bipolar. Your comments, Miss Snark, while compassionate, don't sit quite right with me. A person is still responsible for their behavior and what comes out of their mouths. If they're having a psychotic or manic episode at the time, the reporter should divulge that, of course, and not make the story an exploitative piece of crap that makes her look like a big-headed nut. But she might be, independent of her illness. And personally, I don't respect anyone who says they would rather be debilitated than be on meds. Manic depression and schizophrenia have the highest suicide rates of any other mood disorders. A responsible reporter might have included that fact, too, instead of turning her into a grandiose caricature.

Simon Haynes said...

I read the comments here before I clicked the link to the article, and having read the comments I think the link can remain unclicked. Sounds like the journalist got this one wrong.

Anonymous said...

It's funny the Mortica line that everyone seems to love is actually a quote from another interview with Kate from the San Francisco Chronicle. The best line the LA Times wasn't even written by that interviewer.

Metrorationalist said...

Let's get real. This is an LA Times article and what type of 'journalism' is on display? This is a horrible piece writing where the interviewer has, apparently, never read anything by the author she is interviewing and couldn't care less. This journalist has absolutely nothing to say and doesn't say it in the worst possible way. Kate may or may not be God's gift to LA lit. She may or may not be massively conceited. But at least she can put a sentence together. If Anne-marie has any literary sense or sensibility it remains completely hidden... or to use one of Kate's own lines the interviewer apparently faxed her part in from another planet.