Cover image for Thank you for not reading : essays on literary trivia
Thank you for not reading : essays on literary trivia
Ugrešić, Dubravka.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Zabranjeno čitanje. English
First English edition.
Publication Information:
[Normal, Ill.] : Dalkey Archive Press, [2003]

Physical Description:
ix, 221 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Z278 .U3613 2003 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



"A brilliant, enthralling spread of story-telling and high-velocity reflections . . . Ugresic is a writer to follow. A writer to be cherished." Susan Sontag

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the bustling Anglo-American literary marketplace, the Eastern European exile doesn't stand a chance, says Ugresic (Have a Nice Day), herself in self-exile from Croatia. "The literary market demands that people adapt to the norms of production. As a rule, it does not tolerate disobedient artists, it does not tolerate experimenters, artistic subversives, performers of strange strategies in a literary text." Instead, it rewards the artistically obedient. Furthermore, Ugresic complains, literature has lost the exclusiveness it once had. Since the market determines what is good and what is bad based purely on what sells, the door has opened for every two-bit celebrity to hock their wares in mega-bookstores, leaving "real" writers out in the cold. The author compares herself to Eeyore, the famous grumbler, but the tone of this collection can be fickle-is the author playfully grumbling or bitterly mocking? In "GW, the Gloomy Writer" and "The Magnificent Buli," she mocks two types who have entered the global literary market: the male Eastern European writer with an inferiority complex and the genius/literary bulimic. In another piece, Ugresic playfully decries a marketplace that allows an empty personality like Ivana Trump to become a published author. At times, the analysis focuses so intently on the superficial business of marketing books that it overlooks the quiet intellectual activity that energizes English departments all across the United States, those little enclaves where Ivana Trump's output makes nary a ripple. And since an academic audience frustrated with the commodification of books is the primary target for these essays, that feels like a significant omission. (Nov. 10) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. vii
1. Opening
Los Torcedoresp. 3
2. Good Morning
Literary Dreamsp. 9
Book Proposalp. 13
Agents and Scoutsp. 17
Low-Income Writerp. 21
Long Live Socialist Realism!p. 25
You Know a Craftsman by His Toolsp. 29
Bazaarp. 33
3. The Market
Literature and Democracyp. 39
Engineers of Human Soulsp. 43
The Writer as Literary Referencep. 47
The Aura of Glamourp. 51
Shares in Human Perversionp. 55
Eco among the Nudistsp. 59
Come Back, Cynics, All Is Forgiven!p. 65
The Role of Kirk Douglas in My Lifep. 71
Alchemyp. 75
Women, Smoking, and Literaturep. 81
Optimism Strengthens the Organismp. 85
4. Country Cousin
A Little Red Dotp. 93
How I Could Have Been Ivana Trump and Where I Went Wrongp. 99
GW, the Gloomy Writerp. 105
The Magnificent Bulip. 111
A Short Contribution to the History of a National Literature: The Top Ten Reasons to Be a Croatian Writerp. 115
5. Life without a Tail
The Writer in Exilep. 127
War Is War, but Intellectuals Are Only Humanp. 149
Having Funp. 161
6. Well, Goodbye
House Spiritsp. 173
Questions to an Answerp. 183
The Writer and His Futurep. 199
7. Closing
The Seventh Screwp. 211