Fame, Fame, fatal Fame
It can play hideous tricks on the brain
and when, inevitably, Kanye West’s autobiography is added to the Penguin Modern Classics range as a palimpsest on Morrisey, it will become the solemn duty of all librarians to immolate the contaminated works and the responsible editors atop of grand pile of unread copies, in a cleansing Auto da Fé.
We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful
Stranger still, his only signing was Göteborg, Sweden. And you had to have been queueing for more than seven hours to get your book signed. People flying in from Abu Dhabi and other places were left disappointed.
The fact that it is apparently indistinguishable from Alan Partridge’s autobiography makes me loath to read it.
Penguin’s rationale for publishing it as a ‘classic’ was apparently that it is ‘a classic in the making’. Errrrrr, right…
Surely they could have arranged a special signing for him in Antarctica. Or Ghouta, Damascus. Or just cut out the middle man and do it in Darvaza, Turkmenistan so that the copies are already on fire, and he can be handed over to Satan in person?
How do you figure that the quiz indicates that they’re indistinguishable? That depends on success of the person doing the quiz. As a fan of Morrissey and Partridge, I got 11/13 correct without having read either autobiography. So I found them pretty easy to distinguish.
Won’t somebody please think of all the people who spent their lives buying and reading Penguin Classics? Now people will think it was all celebrity autobiographies. This wanton destruction of cultural capital of the struggling middle class can’t be allowed to continue unchecked.
A page-turner it’s not: mostly fashion tips and whining about being sick all the time. Also, “This Charming Man” turns out to have been about his meeting Jimmy Saville.
I just hope the audiobook is done exactly like this:
How often does a Penguin Classic release get prime exposure from British newspapers and a myriad of other outlets including BoingBoing? The answer to this question is the prime motive behind this choice.
Only 4 months ago, Penguin merged with Random House to build a corporate colossus that will desperately try to survive the oncoming onslaught from the Digital Age of Publishing. This is one of their first moves to get as much free coverage as they can, and sell as many editorial products as they can. Penguin is a brand, not a cultural institution; they sell book-shaped widgets for a living, and now they have to sell more of them, faster. Expect more shocks like this in the next few months.
I can understand it. It’s like when people talk about a “blockbuster” movie before it has even been released. By definition a movie can’t be a blockbuster before it has been released. On the other hand, I don’t really give a shit. It would be interesting to hear their reasoning though.
Because a self-confessed fan of both (that’s you) still could not distinguish 15% of the quotes. And that someone merely familiar with their work (that’s me) scored worse than chance.
OK, I was being hyperbolic.
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