Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Hell Hath No Fury Like A Poet Scorned

Former Serbian-Croat leader and war criminal Radovan Karadzic, who was apprehended at the weekend after 13 years on the run, apparently started life as a working class poet who couldn't get his work published by a sneering middle-class, and despite becoming a psychiatrist to be admitted to their ranks.

Thus after a spell in the Green Party he turned his hand to politics, assuming leadership of his country through founding the Serbian Democratic Party (SDS), but resorting to less-than-democratic means to attain/maintain power, culminating in the torture and genocide of countless fellow countrymen.

Now the worst I've considered is attending a Quaker Meeting and when it's my turn proclaiming that the Lord has moved me to share my entire works with them and they can't leave until I've finished.

Is that where I'm going wrong? If the pen doesn't prove 'mightier than the sword', should one then give the sword a chance?

And did Karadzic give his victims one last purchasing opportunity to acquire his complete works as an alternative to a bullet-in-the-head?

Which makes you wonder really - if Hitler began his life as an artist who couldn't sell his work, what would have happened if he'd won the German equivalent of the Turner Prize in the early 20th C and had enjoyed a meteoric art career...? And was artistic jealousy behind his hatred of Jews in particular (a demographic known for their high percentage of successful artists)?

An unappreciated artist can be a dangerous creature methinks.

As a poet friend of mine puts it

Best Seller

Poetry doesn't normally sell
But mine might
For I intend to embark
On a series
Of bizarre and
Motiveless murders
On and around
Hampstead Heath.
Poetry doesn't normally sell
But mine might...

© Paul Birtill

*It works, he always sells a lot of books after ending his set with it!

By the by, here is a collection of Mr Karadzic's later work published while on the run;
I Can Look For Myself
PS: Doesn't he look like the long-lost brother of Ted Hughes (below), if he hadn't killed his hairdresser, though?


nearside said...

You are VERY MUCH appreciated, just in case you have an itch to go invade somewhere. If you, pick somewhere nice, and bring your writer friends with you, please?

LucyFishwife said...

You say Ted Hughes, Steve says Henning Mankell - I personally think he looks like Ken Stott dressed as Sheila Hancock (rumour has it he's a far nicer person than Sheila Hancock too, as murderous genocidal maniacs go). I bet all dictators secretly write poetry, except it's the weepy Robbie Williams teenage kind, all about how nobody understands how lonely they are and what a beautiful if tortured soul they have. Laura, you're too good a poet to be a dictator, and that's a sentence I may never use again in my lifetime...

Reluctant Blogger said...

Ah now you mentioned a party for your blogger friends when you get famous in one of your previous comment boxes - so come on, hurry up and get on with it! But don't go the dictator route eh. You'd then start telling us all what to wear to the party and what to bring - no fun at all.

I always had a thing about Radovan - don't tell anyone - partly the name which is just so wonderful.

Oh well, I've hung around here for a few minutes now and you've not brought me any wine. Too early in the day maybe? I shall go.

But have a lovely summer, Laura and if you are ever in my neck of the woods let me know!

Rol said...

Perhaps I should use similar reasoning next time I'm submitting to a publisher's slush pile... go on, print me... you wouldn't want another Hitler on your hands, would you?

Wisewebwoman said...

I've harboured murderous thoughts for my editor, Laura. I can totally relate.
Concrete shoes are too good for the person who tells me to discard the first six pages of my deathless prose.
Deathless. Good one.

Steve said...

One death is tragic.
Millions a statistic.
Buy my book now please.

(Haiku) adapted from a quote by Joseph Stalin.

You know I think it might catch on...

Mr. Squirrel said...

We appreciate your support!

teeni said...

Oh, you are too funny. So maybe you just need to find something to use as your "schtick" which is what I think of calling Paul Birtill's poem that he uses at the end of his sets. Of course, you may have to actually sell a book first before you can start using something like that. I dunno.

Brother Tobias said...

Interpol describes him as wanted for crimes against life and health, genocide, hooliganism and vandalism. Distinguishing characteristics, 'flamboyant behaviour'. I like the classification of the destruction of Sarajevo as hooliganism and vandalism. He was born in a stable to, which often leads to trouble.

The Sagittarian said...

Brother Tobias has hit the proverbial nail on the head.

Donnnnn said...

It is very (Hannibal) Lecterian that he was a Shrink. I saw a doc on him yesterday that showed how he has been mythologized by his fellow countrymen. Scary stuff.

Apparently a quarter of the Yugoslavian population had intermarried while the Soviets ran the Iron Curtain with an Iron Fist.
I guess we do better when we have a common enemy..even Reagan knew that when he said that the only thing that could unite Earthlings would be an attack from aliens!

Who the hell needs aliens we are scary enough.

moi said...

Hmmmm. Hitler was a frustrated painter, this yay-hoo a frustrated poet. Dang, I wish these mass murdering ass wipes would go pick on the plumbers or laywers, ya know? Gives us kult-cha-ed folk a bad name.

BTW, I appreciate your playing along in the Great Squirrel Wars of Summer '08. There will NOT, however, be a reprise!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Cheers Nearside - so Ohio's up for grabs then??? I'm on the plane with AK47 in my case! ;-)

LucyFishWife, desperate times call for desperate measures in the literary world, though you may be right that all dictators write poetry and fancy they have a sensitive side, whereas actually they are just extremely touchy!

RB - maybe your love could've saved Radovan! I'll try and hurry up re the party - promise. Where is you neck of the woods exactly? If you are anywhere near London, perhaps we could do coffee sometime as I visit there once a month, sometimes oftener.

Rol, that sounds a most effectual tactic. Good idea!

WWW threatening concrete shoes? I like it! And you are quite right that the punishment fits the crime there re anyone daring to reject your deathless prose!

Steve - there's a Die-Ku if ever I heard one! You're published!

Mr Sqirrel I appreciate your fine photo-doctoring, ahem, mission!

Teeni, I may indeed have to WRITE a book before I complain that I'm not selling any! I guess all my writer friends and their experiences have put me off rather, though I am in a second short story anthology soon - more anon.

Funnily enough Brother Tobias that thought crossed my mind too - the guy was born in a stable. What did we expect? Jesus?

Sagittarian, indeed BT did hit the nail on the head!

Donnnnnn, thanks for dropping by, born in a stable, but an unstable shrink with Russian blood in him - it gets worse really, doesn't it? Little hope for humankind there.

Quite so Moi, let's have more targetted genocide on HR people, middle-managers, accountants, lawyers etc. I don't pretend to understand about the squirrel wars, but I did LOVE (and envy) their wonderful photo-doctoring skills. Hope they didn't cause you too much hassle. You don't seem like a squirrel hater to me.

Betty said...

Oh, somebody on my blog reckons there's a resemblance to Ted Hughes, but I think he looks like Tom Conti.

According to my Serbian dad, Radovan was a war hero ... hmm. We had a few arguments about this in the early '90's.

Reluctant Blogger said...

Lots of people seem to think I am in London - I think it is where my IP Address shows me to be? Quite convenient anyway.

But no, I am in Norwich.

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Aw - yes, sorry I did think you were in the South RB, Sussex or Kent possibly.

But barring a cosy coffee, I do think it would be quite nice to have an IRL (in real life) blogger's party sometime. Maybe Birmingham would be a central-ish venue for most folk...?

Certainly many American bloggers seem to have little parties and get to meet each other, which must be tricky given the geographical challenges!

Reluctant Blogger said...

yeah, a blogger party would be good. Steve could wear his kilt, couldn't he? You could wear your jelly shoes and those pyjamas you got from Michelle and I will put a paper bag over my head to preserve my anonymity and reputation for walking into things and generally being clumsy.

Are you going to organise one?

The Poet Laura-eate said...

I'll certainly think about it RB!
Though if you MUST come in disguise (and frankly it would not dent this blogmate's opinion of you one jot to meet the real 3D RB!), why not adorn yourself in a charming Venetian ball mask rather than a cruddy ol' paper bag??

Meanwhile I'm off to Edinburgh Festival for a few days to let my hair down!