UPDATE: Sina Queyras is also blogging at Harriet! That's cool too. Here she is about "blurbing" (blurbs are horrific, I agree, and humiliating and embarrassing to ask for.) I made up one blurb for O Fallen Angel, totally ripping off Ben Marcus. The rest I begged for, supplicant that I am. I think the relationship between blurber and blurbee is kind of sexual, actually. Like a blowjob (and it is a puff piece, really, you blow and suck and....anyway, what was I talking about?) Oh, yes blurbs. You ask someone for a language blowjob, and then you are maybe expected to respond in some way at some other time (oral, anal, making them dinner, photocopying, reviewing their work, painting their toenails). It is an implied contract, not like the actual contract drawn up by Sacher Masoch in Venus in Furs. I'm joking. All the writers who blurbed me (blurb as a verb?) are fantastic writers who I admire - Chris Kraus, Vanessa Place, Lily Hoang, Karen Finley. And they asked for naught in return. But now I sound like I'm bragging! The auto-erotics, the onanism of self-promoting.
Actually Vanessa Place in the comments to Sina's post brings up the mutual eroticism of blurbing:
I was interested in the blurb as part of the textual excess, the blither attached to the blather, the poetic remora. A cock, to use Sina’s prompt, is an apparatus in the sense of framing a particular kind of discourse–flarf, perhaps, gay porn, maybe, or simply the babble of constant heterosexuality; a blurb is another. The more interesting question is what we want from these attachments. My favorite part of blurbs is the sweet pathos of my including, in the bid for your attention, the fact that I am the object of another’s affection. The point is that the blurb isn’t supplemental, but institutional, like many pricks.
A side story that just occurred to me (with the prompt of prick and auto-eroticism): When I was a green girl I met a jackass at a Chicago house party, who was a writer (probably freelancer?) for Spin magazine. Here in New York for the weekend. Anyway he started blabbing his mouth off about the novel he was trying to get representation for. And how the opening scene featured autofellatio. "And David loved it," he said. David. Just that. David. And I swallowed some vomit and said "You mean David Foster Wallace?" This was right when Infinite Jest was big. And of course that's who he meant.
What a jackass. (the dude-writer, not DFW). And I remember making out with him afterwards, even though I didn't find him in the least attractive.
Maybe DFW blurbed for him! (did DFW blurb?)
By the way: apologies for the overt sexuality of this post. Am working on my Monkey narrative now. She overcomes me, my saucy libertine.