Cormac McCarthy? “Horrible,” he says, looking at Blood Meridian. “This is probably the most pulpy, overwrought, melodramatic cowboy vs. Indians story ever written.”
If I gave you 100 guesses who said this, you still wouldn’t believe it.
Something-something Kickstarter! And Amazon! And literary agents! And small presses! And big presses! And this genre and that genre! And Wattpad and Book Country and Goodreads and Bookish and Twitter and iBooks and Smashwords and Simon & Schuster and Barnes & Noble and blargh and flargh and zippity-motherfucking-doo-dah!
If the second section of Howl! was about the contemporary publishing scene, this is what it would sound like.
It employed a small army of men to steal from America’s libraries to feed the Manhattan book trade, but warned these men against tinkering with book stamps. A botched field-scrub could ruin the value of book — and was, counter-intuitively, an even more tell-tale sign of theft than even the presence of a library stamp, which could often be explained away. Book cleaning was done by a few trusted individuals; in the case of particularly tricky marks, like perforated stamps, the work could be outsourced to England.
Book Thief Rings!?! Who knew?
…the conversation was governed by a blind faith that talented young writers and editors would push their way to visibility like dandelions breaking through the asphalt of a level playing field.
And they will—at least the white male dandelions from private universities.
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