I have recently read two books in which I and my husband appear. One is Wiilliam Hutt Soldier Actor by Keith Garebian (Guernica, 2012); the other is The Best Fooling: Adventures in Canadian Theatre ( Memoirs Volume II) by Michael Bawtree (Mereo Books, 2017). We are not major players in either book, but we are named and we are presented as not admirable. I am hurt rather than angry. I tend to be silent and uncomplaining but I have been thinking - a lot.
I used to say, when I got a bad review of a play of mine that I would treat the reviewer (at one time I knew most of the reviewers in Toronto and Winnipeg) the way I treated my gaenecologist, that is, that I would never refer to what went on in the examining room when we met socially, never to mention it. I remember once actually asking one reviewer (I never call them critics) who had given me a very biased aka nasty review, why he had called me sentimental, emotional and melodramatic. . You're never supposed to ask why, but I did, just once. "Because," he said, "you made me cry. I don't like being manipulated. " I asked him if he was moved to laughter would he have the same complaint, of being manipulated. "That," he said, "is different."
Well, I learned to keep my mouth shut. I was brought up to behave (like a lady?). And so, with these two books, in which, as I say, we do not figure largely, I won't make a public statement. (You can hardly call my blog public, so few people read it or care.) But the words still rankle. Of course, I have another point of view, just as biased, I am sure.
I'll shut my eyes and think of Rashomon.
Perhaps I'll have to write my own memoirs, with personal comments. I have never enjoyed dishing the dirt. I like ideas better. Actually, I have written a book about aging, but it's philosophical, a travel book if you will, into the country of age, "from which no traveller returns" - so far unsold. Perhaps a different, gossipy, snarky presentation would sell better. I'll have to think about that.
But I keep thinking about Bambi. Is anyone old enough to remember Bambi, the book or the movie.?
[Bambi is a 1942 American animated film directed by David Hand (supervising a team of sequence directors), produced by Walt Disney and based on the book Bambi, a Life in the Woods by Austrian author Felix Salten. The film was released by RKO Radio Pictures on August 13, 1942, and is the fifth Disney animated feature film.] Wikipedia (Oh my, I was 11 years old. You weren't alive then.)
I remember in the movie that Bambi's friend, Thumper the rabbit, gave the young deer advice taught by his mother: "If you can't say anything nice, don't say nothin at all."