Readings

So my favourite story won the Caine Prize, but I am not going to be smug about it.

I went to Caine Prize readings on Sunday and I enjoyed myself tremendously but it also made me think about readings in general.

I wonder if it is fair to ask authors to read their own work. Some brilliant writers do themselves a real disservice when reading their work and it makes me really sad. Not every writer is a performer as it could be painfully observed during the Sunday readings. On the other hand, if you have some acting skills and a good voice you might win over some previously undecided members of the audience, as it happened with yours truly and that Mistress's Dog's tale that wasn't really doing it for me untilDavid Medalie read it and I finally felt it. Medalie also discussed his writing in the most interesting way.

Another effect readings might have on you is the feeling of shame. I have no problem ciritisising literature harshly as long as I am oblivious to the human being behind it. Never did I feel worse (except for when I had pneumonia, that was quite bad as well) that when Tim Keegan was reading, slightly stuttering his "What Molly Knew".

I thought, right, that's it, I am officially going to hell now.

Your thoughts on readings? Like them, don't like them, only go when you've read the book, only go when you haven't read the book?