Thursday, September 08, 2005

when writers write about other writers

I love comparing book covers for the same title - personally, I like the one on the left; but I can see why the half-naked man was put on the cover a year later, on the right, for the paperback version. (sex sells, moths don't)

I have sold this book before, and am again. But I wanted to update the listing with some additional info, so I did some googling, and find Gore Vidal's 2005 New York Times piece: James Purdy: The Novelist as Outlaw. Gosh, I should know better. I mean, I realize I am a bit of a dolt, but I just want to hear:

"It's a great book - read it, it will change/ruin/improve/destroy your life/outlook/relationship"

and I know better than to see what one writer has to say about another, as they annoyingly/humorously/annoyingly tell you more about themselves than their subject. After the first 85 paragraphs, and splashing myself in the face several times with more hot coffee, I finally learned that Vidal liked Purdy, and the book. But, other than the fact that it pissed off people Vidal didn't/doesn't like, I couldn't tell you why he liked it. Probably why I've never finished a Gore Vidal novel - i always seemed to fog over and wonder why I am being told the history of Thomas Jefferson's silverware for 13 pages when I am reading a book on Lincoln.