Monday, June 19, 2006

If Edith Wharton had a blog

From literary blogger Maud Newton :

Unless you’re Thomas Pynchon, it’s not enough these days to write a book and publish it. Today’s author is expected to pimp her novels by any means necessary — with interminable readings, book club talks, temporary tattoos, hideous and ill-fitting t-shirts, fanciful diagrams, and of course blogs. This makes perfect sense. After all, most writers choose to sequester themselves with books and papers for weeks on end precisely because they enjoy and excel at interacting with the rest of humanity.

As Katharine Weber’s latest novel, Triangle, appears, she tries to imagine Edith Wharton in today’s publishing environment:

Would she send out ‘tsotsch,’ as one publicist calls it enthusiastically — pencils, say, with House of Mirth stamped in gold and a smiley face pin affixed to the end? Had she written a novel of particular interest to Jewish readers (unlikely, given her appalling references to Simeon Rosedale, but I forgive her), would she have dressed up as a giant dreidel at the Jewish Book Council reception at BEA? Would she go on The View? Would she have an Amazon Blog?
Yes, Weber decides: Wharton’s publisher would require her to have an Amazon Blog. Weber channels the Ethan Frome author below.

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