Sunday, October 02, 2016

`Humanely Suppressed Witticisms'

A publisher’s rep has sent me a new novel for no good reason I can figure out. It’s a respectable house; that is, one I’ve heard of. It’s the author’s second book, a plump volume with a conspicuously tasteful cover design. The title is too whimsical for its own good. I can’t imagine reading such a book. The cover letter is addressed “Dear Reviewer.” Times are tough. Perhaps marketing departments throw review copies at anyone they deem marginally literate. I’ll leave it in the break room at work. Maybe one of the grad students will give it a good home. Eva Brann in Doublethink/Doubletalk: Naturalizing Second Thoughts and Twofold Speech (Paul Dry Books, 2016) would understand:

“Candid review, suppressed: `I would that this book, which has just now appeared, might just as soon disappear.’ My uncle, music reviewer for the Vossische Zeitung between the World Wars: `Last night Herr M. performed Beethoven’s Violin Concerto in D. Why?’ Keep a mental file of those humanely suppressed witticisms to turn in at Heaven’s ticket booth.” 

No comments: