Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some Poet! (with props to E. B. White)




A recent NYT article held forth on, among other things, the dent in the restaurant industry now that publishing houses and literary agents are no longer having long, leisurely lunches on expense accounts.

It quoted agent Amanda Urban, “who represents Cormac McCarthy and Toni Morrison” (and who I remember better as Binky, rep. to that young author of Bright Lights, Big City), on the matter. Here’s her perspective:

“Ms. Urban said some of the more lavish practices could not be sustained by a slow-growth, low-margin industry that can’t charge luxury prices. ‘Books can only support a certain retail price,’ she said. ‘It’s not like you have books that can be Manolo Blahniks and books that can be Cole Haan. Books are books. A book by James Patterson costs the same as a book by some poet.’”

*Some* poet?! Perhaps Ms. Urban means

Gwendolyn Brooks
Seamus Heaney
Sharon Olds
Billy Collins
Margaret Atwood
T. S. Eliot
Sylvia Plath
Langston Hughes
Michael Ondaatje
Julianna Baggott
Yusef Komunyakaa
Etc . . .

I really hope that there’s a little problem with parallel structure above. Just who is writing the Manolo Blahniks and who’s writing the Cole Haans?

4 comments:

enc said...

I don't know, but comparing James Patterson to any poet is like comparing Cheetos to Emmenthaler.

At least to me!

K.Line said...

Eeek! Some poet indeed... I hope Mr. Cohen doesn't read this.

miss cavendish said...

enc, Cheetos leave a nasty residue on one's hands. I always prefer Emmenthaler . . .

K.Line, Quel horreur! I didn't have any Canadian content. I've added a bit . . . (Mr. Cohen already mentioned in comments!).

Sal said...

Yuck. What a deeply idiotic thing for her to say.