Sunday, 14 October 2007

Trine Villemann gets another blistering review, or, is it not a review?

Jyllands Posten's Niels Lillelund delivers yet another review of 1015 Købenavn K which must have Trine Villemann's ears burning by now. Actually, it is quite entertaining!
It is said that…

How to write a review about a publication like this?

There are several possibilities. You could report* it to the police if you are very royalist and find it very despicable for anyone to write such a gossiping and malicious book about the DRF and our (here meaning all of us) wise and skilful and artistic Queen and all the little sweet Princes and grand-princes and Maaary and so on.

You could review it from a journalistic point of view (or literary, because weekly magazine journalism is probably more a sort of literary genre) and wonder about how you can write an entire book that is almost entirely based on anonymous sources, who are all close to someone, who is, if possible, even closer than a now forgotten nanny, and who says a lot which no one has a snowball's chance in Hell to document or refute.

Or you could see it as an attempt to entertain and be annoyed that the authoress (rarely has this slightly outdated and nowadays perhaps even sexist label been more fitting), according to her own statement, has decided not to write about the royal sex life. Oh bollocks.

Well, when we do have the pants down and are not going to document anything, you might just as well have gone all the way, but she doesn’t, or at least, she’s only hinting.

Neither of the mentioned options for critical viewing are in themselves satisfactory. Especially not if you, like I, consider interest in what the members of DRF do, except beyond the most significant issues, as mindless in it’s most distilled and pure form.

So I chose to walk my very own road; the dogme road. It is hereby decided that I will not, as is otherwise usual in book reviews, say anything about the content of this book.

In doing so I also personally rebel against the dark forces, which have not only asked me to review the book for the day of publishing, but who have even decided that is was so ground-breakingly important, that we had had to break with the norm and present the review in all possible media the day BEFORE the book is published.

Because it’s the nature of gossip that it attracts the niciest** people from all ranks of life, and as such a publication like this serves also as a sort of pretence; you do not gossip, but you just talk about (and review and talk about in advance, which other nice papers have also done) a book, that will be published, and which you would never read that sort of thing yourself, but since it is being published and as there has been so much TALK about it in advance, you have to deal with the media-reality, yes, then it’s almost a duty as a public servant to quote what is written, if not for anything else but to disassociate from it.

But I refuse. I will not be a part of it.

So I can only inform that the author is Trine Villemann and she has between the years and days worked as a sort of journalist. Today she lives in Athens.

Besides that, it can be said that Queen Margrethe ascended the throne when her father, Frederik IX, died in 1972. And that Crown Prince Frederik was born in 1968, and that he, God and the weather willing, will one day become king with Australian born Mary by his side.

That is what can be verified. The rest is something she has heard, the wee Trine, and which she here passes on.

If she had been a phone call I would have hung up and taken a shower afterwards. But here she presents herself as text, which is more a matter for semiotics or collectors of folklore.

The text revolves around the prying, humming and sneaky passive form “it’s told” and “it’s said" and the climax of the publication is achieved when the origin of one of the many stories is presented like this: “A source which has heard the story from her/his now late mother”.

The book will get one star and that is as much a predictable kill, which makes this review about as unimportant as the book it is about.

But I didn’t say it, you don’t have it from me and it's not to say something bad about the mayor, but that is said.

I will sacrifice my altruistic nature and not pass the example of this review on to anyone else.

The gossip stops here. (by Niels Lillelund and kindly translated by Muhler!)

* Review in Danish also means to report something, usually to the authorities.
** The misspelling is deliberate.

Added: Trine hard at work

TV2 Go' aften Danmark (10:13) interview with Trine Villemann

Today (5:38) interview in English with Trine Villemann on the Nine Network this morning (count the mentions of the book)

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5 Comments:

Blogger duk said...

That's hilarious! I'm not sure what it means, but I love it!

I am so very disappointed that some Australian media have indulged in such scuttlebutt.

My feeling is that the regular photos of Mary and Frederick together is that their body language, obviously affectionate, really speaks volumes.

I wish them well.

Carol in Australia.

9:40 am  
Blogger andi_pf said...

Priceless! This the best review of a gossip book I have ever read. I take off my hat to the man! Just what this rubbish deserved

12:32 pm  
Blogger Betty said...

duk it was one of Karl's more sarcastic moments.
He's very well known for his toungue-in-cheek comments on the Today show every morning.

11:18 pm  
Blogger Iffy said...

I just stumbled across your blog and wanted to let you know I think it is incredible. So up to date with current information and photos of the Danish royals. It's almost an encyclopedia.

9:38 pm  
Blogger DRW said...

Hi iffy,

Glad you stumbled :D

The net is truly a maze!

All the best,
lotte :)

5:24 pm  

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