It seems that writers aren’t the only creative folk with a pecking order of respectability. Singers also have one. (Via Russell Kirkpatrick’s blog.)
With writers, we have the authors of “literary” works (whatever that may mean) at the top and romance and fantasy somewhere down at the bottom. Some science fiction writers class their works waaaay above that of fantasy. There is one very famous sci fi writer who at cons – when told by an author that they write fantasy – is wont to say “What a waste”.
Now it seems that the diva Dame Kiri Te Kanawa is stepping on a few toes by insulting a young NZ singer who dares to a) be popular and b) use a mike. She describes Hayley Westenra – who sings light classics and sometimes her own songs – as ‘a fake who will not last’, who is ‘not in my world and never will be.’
‘I’ve had a 40-year career,’ she said, ‘but these people, two or three years and they’re gone.’
I find it astonishing how patronising and petty some people at the top can be, in blatant contrast to how helpful and kind others are. Fortunately – the sci fi writer above being an exception – I seem to encounter more of the latter.