home again home again

March 27, 2008

Prepublishing this from Japan, since I'm probably going to be pretty out of it for a bit as I actually return to good ol' Boston...

Snark of the Moment
"This book," he says, further, "is a study of American literature from an economic point of view. It takes our living writers, and turns their pockets inside out, asking 'Where did you get it?' and 'What did you do for it?'"

Fired by Mr. Sinclair's example, I tried turning inside out the pockets of a living writer of my acquaintance, a writer considered successful in his work, and one who appears often in the wealthier magazines. The gross receipts were one nail file; one rubberized tobacco pouch; one fountain pen without a top; one Western Union envelope (empty); one folded bit of paper upon which was written "Endicott 6281--about eleven o'clock"; one card bearing the names Tony, Gus, and Joe, and a West Forty-eight street address; one small rubber band (broken); one office clip (bent S-shaped); one half-dollar, one dime, and four pennies; one twenty-five centimes piece; and several unpleasantly mouselike formations of gray fluff. I had no heart to ask, "Where did you get it?" much less, "What did you do for it?"
--Dorothy Parker reviewing Upton Sinclair's "Money Writes!"