Praise for Declan Burke: “Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

One Is Not Amused

Have you heard the one about the Irish author who wasn’t qualified to talk about his own novels? Quoth the Belfast Telegraph:
He’s a crime writer of renown, and his books have been on Queen’s University’s curriculum.
  Yet in a twist that Kafka would have been proud of, Colin Bateman has been left baffled after the university ruled him out of lecturing in creative writing — because he doesn’t have a degree.
  The Bangor author recently applied for a post as a lecturer in creative writing at the university.
  Bateman, who currently teaches creative writing at the South Eastern Regional College, received a letter on Wednesday telling him he was not getting an interview.
  When the author, recently listed in a Top 50 Crime Writers of all-time poll, queried this, he was advised that staff are bound by job specifications and as he does not have a degree, he could not be shortlisted for interview.
  He has branded the decision to refuse him an interview for the post as “ridiculous” and “crazy”.
  For the rest, clickety-click here
  Personally, my greatest fear is that Bateman - already, sans first name, half-adrift in the culture, and whose latest series features a ‘Man With No Name’ masquerading as the owner of the No Alibis crime fiction store in Belfast - will take the decision so badly that his identity with be reabsorbed into whence it came, thus creating a rift in the space-time continuum into which will be sucked Queens University. That, or he’ll write some kind of post-modern comic novel about, y’know, some author who isn’t qualified to tell people about his own books, and is thus obliged to hoik out ye olde blunderbuss and go on the rampage.
  Either way, it won’t be pretty. If you want to add your voice to the protest against Queen’s University’s decision, or just want to join in the general mischief-making merriment, clickety-click here


Dana King said...

Colleges are wonderful places, so long as those who run and teach in them remember why they are there: to further knowledge. period. Not to burnish reputations through their academic purity, which too often displays itself as a complete disconnect from the real world they are allegedly there to help young people find ways to negotiate.

A school that would do something like this is a school not worth attending, certainly not for anyone with an interest in the discipline with such clueless stewards,

seana said...

That is completely ridiculous.

Of course, they are wise not to let him in, because he would undoubtedly send them up in a big way.

Well, he probably still will. More power to him.

live sports said...

nice written

Rob Kitchin said...

As ridiculous as this is, from my time working in Queens this is to do with Fair Employment legislation. You have to stick with what is in the advert, with no exceptions. If it said 'must have a degree' then that criteria needs to be met legally. The solution is to readvertise the post without that clause. Queens have been taken to court so many times over employment issues that it rigidly sticks to the rules, even if those rules create these kinds of nonsense. They know that if they relax the rule, one of the other applicants is likely to take an case against them for changing the rules. They should have thought the criteria through before putting in place. I'm not excusing them, just explaining why I think this has happened.

seana said...

Thanks, Rob. That does make a bit more sense, though I think you have already pointed them towards their solution.

Peter Rozovsky said...

No first name. No degree. The main will attain mythical status before he reaches retirement age.
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

Peter Rozovsky said...

Rob, I hope Queens does as you suggest: Readvertise the position with that criterion eliminated.