Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The corrections (or, making up quotes)

Small Corrections to Neal Pollack's Piece in the Times Book Review, by Dave Eggers.

He quotes me as saying, "We're about to enter a new age of literary celebrity." When I read this online this morning, I had to re-read it a few times, looking for some postscript that indicated that, as Neal usually does, he had made the quote up. Then I figured maybe the PS wasn't in the online version. Eventually I learned there wasn't such a postscript, which is too bad, because he did make that quote up, and it's a kooky quote to attribute to me—or to anyone. That quote is as likely to have exited my mouth as would an elf riding a three-headed mule. The quote doesn't sound like anyone, really—no one would have said something like that, unless they were addressing, in a bad late-'80s TV movie, some kind of misguided depiction of a glitzy (ha!) book-industry convention.
Pollack responds:
Apologies for any inaccuracies in the piece or for any potential misinterpretations. I still remember some conversation where some concept of "literary celebrity" was mentioned, but who knows the context at this point—it was at least seven years ago and I never should have put quotes around those words. It's obvious from the way Dave and McSweeney's have gone in the last bunch of years that traditional celebrity was the last thing he wanted. That sin was mine, and mine alone. Now, as before, Dave and I will keep a friendly and wary distance. I will only go to McSweeney's headquarters at 3 a.m., and then only when I am very hungry. Goodbye.


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