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.

Monday, June 05, 2006

From Forbes.Com

New York -

In Edith Wharton's novel The Age of Innocence, there is a character of some quality who has fallen into disrepute and who ends his days in exile in Argentina representing a large insurance company. He dies in "an odor of prosperity."

Just such an odor wafts over insurance companies. It hangs between them and the dark clouds of misfortune and blacker ones of catastrophe, providing the umbrella of capital.