Thank You for Not Reading

Essays on Literary Trivia

By Dubravka Ugresic; Celia Hawkesworth (Translator); Damion Searles (Translator)
(Dalkey Archive Press, Paperback, 9781564782984, 221pp.)

Publication Date: November 2003

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Description

In this collection of acerbic essays, Ugresic dissects the nature of the contemporary book industry, which she argues is so infected with the need to create and promote literature that will appeal to the masses -- literally to everyone -- that if Thomas Mann were writing nowadays, his books wouldn't even be published in the U.S. because they're not sexy enough.

A playful and biting critique, Ugresic's essays hit on all of the major aspects of publishing: agents, subagents, and scouts, supermarket-like bookstores, Joan Collins, book fairs that have little to do with books, authors promoted because of sex appeal instead of merit, and editors trying to look like writers by having their photograph taken against a background of bookshelves.

Thanks to cultural influences such as Oprah, "The Today Show," and Kelly Ripa, best-seller lists have become just a modern form of socialist realism, a manifestation of a society that generally ignores literature in favor of the next big thing.

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