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June 27, 2007

Small Skirmishes Just Off Grub Street

Most of the time, my work-related dealings with people are pleasant enough. I probably only go to one or two literary parties a year, sometimes not even that. When I'm in contact with anyone it is usually because I have become interested in a specific book and have some particular idea in mind for why I might write about it.

But every so often, I find myself at the very edge of telling an author or publisher, "You seem to be under the impression that I am a publicist, rather than a critic and essayist. And that means you can just piss right off."

In fact I only ever actually say the first part, albeit in a way that leaves the rest clearly implied. They don't actually offer me bribes. But the attitude involved is, if anything, often more offensive than if they had.

One guy approached me about a book like so: "There was an article about it in The New York Times and another piece is scheduled for [some magazine or other]. Maybe you should do something, given all the hype."

And I thought, "Well gosh, dude, that is one appealing prospect all right. Why I must be crazy to pass up such an offer!"

All things considered it is probably for the best that I do not live in New York.

Posted by smclemee at June 27, 2007 5:36 PM