Private: Celebrity memoirs

If I read another word about Madonna’s book or her myriad gropings of younger pop stars, I will be forced to gouge out my eyes, rend my garments, and jump from the nearest bridge. You, however, may be interested in Mollie Wilson’s article, which evidently is about the disconnect between Madonna’s writerly and musical personas. (First seen at Arts Journal.)

In other songwriter-turned-author news, Sting is causing out-of-body experiences at his memoir signings. The Telegraph has four lengthy excerpts of the book this week, and although I’m not a Sting fan and don’t have the patience to do more than skim the Telegraph’s offerings I know he was an English teacher once and it appears he can construct complete sentences.

Unfortunately, he seems to have opted after the first few paragraphs to tell the story in the present tense. As Emma has observed in our discussions about writing, first-person, present tense is one of the most challenging points of view. Many attempts evince, I think, a wooden, reporterly quality. They’re like bad screenplays, but without naked people. Whether Sting has the talent and discipline to pull it off I leave up to you.

Donna Summer also has a memoir out.

Also in the news is a new memoir by the cast of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Hugh Massingberd’s review of The Pythons Autobiography, by John Cleese, Terry Gilliam et al, is entitled “Vain, self-satisfied and pompous – were they ever funny?” You can pretty much guess where he’s going with that.

“From the accounts of their schooldays, it appears that far from being anarchic rebels, the Pythons tended to be goody-goodies, pillars of games teams and figures of authority,” he says. I guess he probably doesn’t even like Time Bandits or Brazil.