Audra (Unabridged Chick)'s Reviews > Thank You for Not Reading

Thank You for Not Reading by Dubravka Ugrešić
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's review
Dec 03, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: books-on-books, creative-non-fiction, cultural-confusion, truth-is-tawdrier-than-fiction, writers-on-writing, womens-writing
Read from December 03, 2011 to January 16, 2012

My two-word review for this book would likely be, 'Oh, snap!' because Ugresic pretty much rips on everyone in the literary/publishing world: readers, writers, publishers, agents, advertisers -- everyone but book sellers (sort of, more on that later).

Ugrešić's writing style is wonderful: poetic, biting, passionate, and fiery, and there's nothing in the publishing world she won't attack. From grocery stores selling books to the passion for Umberto Eco among vacationers in Greece, Ugrešić critiques, muses, and skewers the publicity machine that commodifies books and reading. She also looks at the identity of the ex-pat writer, especially Eastern European writers following the fall of the Soviet Union and dissolution of Yugoslavia.

While of the essays feel dated -- they range from the late '90s through 2000 -- they're a lovely insider's/outsider's view of the publishing world and literary machine. Reading Ugrešić, I wondered what she'd think now, a decade later, so I'm wicked impatient to get my hands on her new collection of essays, Karaoke Culture.
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Reading Progress

12/13/2011 "the cover is seriously hot. I want it as a print in my apartment!"
12/13/2011 page 3
1.0% ""Joan Collins appeared, dressed like a quotation: in a little pink Chanel suit, with a pink pillbox hat on her head and a coquettish veil over her eyes. Hypnotized, I was swept along in the crowd of visitors, which was swept along after the television cameras, which were swept along after Joan. With puckered lips, Joan fingered the books on display, as though she were fingering Victoria's Secret lingerie.""
12/13/2011 page 3
1.0% ""What does all this have to do with literature? Almost nothing. Then why mention something as trivial as Joan Collins's pink suit? Because trivia has swamped contemporary literary life and become, it seems, more important than the books.""
12/13/2011 page 3
1.0% "Original published in 2001, English translation in 2003. I wonder if she thinks much has changed in the last ten years." 3 comments
12/14/2011 page 14
7.0% "Her classic books as book proposals is marvelous -- I'd read her version of 'The Old Man and the Sea' ("I stressed the ecological aspect of the whole thing. And I changed the old man into a good-looking young Cuban exile, gay.")" 2 comments
12/15/2011 page 57
27.0% "from a 1997 essay: "No one is interested in real victims, or real criminals. Not local courts, not their fellow citizens, not publishers, and not readers. Everyone simply refuses to believe them. An imaginary crime is more convincing; reality is too real. They can only identify with an invented crime, only paper evil can excite them.""
12/15/2011 page 111
53.0% "A 2004 Bookslut interview with Ugrešić on this volume:"
12/23/2011 page 166
79.0% "In this essay from 2000, she's wicked scandalized by how unprofessional professor's are on their uni webpages -- personal pictures, personal details -- again, I wonder what she'd think now. Private/professional divide is quite thin these days...."
12/23/2011 page 184
87.0% "I've tabbed about twenty quotes/excerpts I love, but retyping them would take all day. Stop being so clever, lady!"
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