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Should we embrace the literature of celebrities?

ByElla Olszowska

Feb 16, 2018

What do Saddam Hussein and Donald Trump have in common? What about Kim Kardashian and Kim Cattrall? While you might think it was a either a catastrophic dictatorship or a shared forename, in fact, as disturbing as it may be, it has recently been revealed that what actually unites these frontline figures, is a penchant for literature, specifically erotic and romance novels.

Throughout the last month there has appeared somewhat of a plethora of celebrities all wanting to express their personal thoughts in paperback form.

One of the most shocking revelations of such was that Saddam Hussein published a romance novel by the name of Zabiba and the King, back in 2000.

It would be somewhat hypocritical to prevent even a deceased, ruthless dictator from expressing his views, given that we, in the western world, live and project the benefits of being part of a democratic society.

The question still arises however as to where the line should be drawn with respect to publications, not least to save ourselves from the pain of being confronted with some of the absolute rubbish that is out there.

Although Business Insider stated that Hussein’s book cannot exactly be “heralded for its artistic merit”, with one reviewer even claiming that “it is a complete trainwreck of a book…a painful mess to slog through”, it could be argued that the allegorical nature of the book gives an important insight into Hussein’s ideologies.

The book tells the story of an Iraqi king, believed to be Hussein himself, who is nightly visited by a villager named Zabiba, during which time they discuss religion, nationalism, love and the will of the people.

In fact, as Daniel Kalder suggested: “The Zabiba-King relationship functions as a torturously extended metaphor for the relationship between the People and the Ruler”.

As a result, some have even gone as far to say that books like this, such as with Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf, help to better understand a person’s beliefs and, as a result, help understand our differences and therefore minimise the potential for future extremist activity to occur.

On a somewhat more lighthearted note, and at opposing ends of the scale, the writer Rob Sears recently released The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump. Although not written by the President himself, the abundance of ‘Trumpisms’ has caused a proliferation of books being released on his part, and this collection is just the latest in the trend.

Featuring a quintessential expression on the face of a reclining Trump, hair and all, on the front cover, this book is crammed with the best of Trump quotes, all in lyrical form. As the man himself said, “I know words…I have the best words”, which is just the beginning of this original Trumpian verse. If the anticipation is too much for you to bear, here’s a snapshot of what you could be in for:

I am the best

“I predicted Apple’s stock would fall/ I will build a great, great wall/ I build buildings that are 94 stories tall/ My hands – are they small?”

Of course, books such as The Beautiful Poetry of Donald Trump, just like Farrah Abraham’s In the Making (Celebrity Sex Tape), and Kim Cattrall’s Sexual Intelligence, are not intended for any intellectual purpose, in fact, it is fair to say that, especially with respect to Trump, they were written in a very tongue-in-cheek way.

However, it does not prevent the increase of celebrity authors appearing in book shops and Amazon. The question left to consider is whether we continue to endorse so-called ‘celeb stories’, or choose to end their publication for good.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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