Leading article: Morrissey's instant classic?

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The Independent Online

Bigmouth has struck again. Morrissey is ready to unleash his autobiography on an eager world, but only if it is published as a Penguin Classic. The former Smiths singer's logic for this unusual requirement is interesting: "I can't see why not... When you consider what really hits print these days and when you look at autobiographies and how they are sold, most of it is appalling."

He might be right about the quality of many new books. But sadly, the fact that a garden is full of weeds does not guarantee that the next growth will be a rose. The possibility that Morrissey's book might not merit the exalted status he desires does not appear to have crossed his mind.

Penguin seems keen to indulge the singer, suggesting that the book must be "a classic in the making". But sadly for Morrissey, it's the accumulated judgement of posterity, rather than authors, which determines what literature survives and what gets pulped.

Rather than fretting about how his book is branded, the singer should perhaps think a little more about the content. Many years ago, Morrissey sang: "And if you have five seconds to spare, I'll tell you the story of my life".

If his autobiography is going to be readable, never mind a classic, it will need to be much more involving than that.