Book jewelry

Austen, Carroll, Kafka, Borges, Plath, and more at Paraphernalia (via NOTCOT).


About Jessica Smith
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8 Responses to Book jewelry

  1. Lynn Behrendt says:

    What’s with the purchase a password? Is that for real? I’m confused.

  2. looktouch says:

    Purchasing a password is indeed “for real.” Of course, it’s up to you whether you want to do it or not, and plenty of posts will be here for free. Private and creative posts won’t be free. I put a lot of work into writing the blog– I don’t think my posts/writing are as casual and disposable as the average blog’s. I also have amassed a large body of work by now– hundreds of pages of crafted, edited personal narrative. I’m asking to be paid for it.

    Like subscribing to the NYT online, but more interesting. Like buying an author’s diaries… while they’re still being written.

  3. looktouch says:

    (Plus, charging for a blog opens up a lot of interesting issues, don’t you think? … Is a blog “published”? Are diaries peripheral texts, as they are considered when talking about a major writer like Woolf or Kafka, or are they work in and of themselves? Is a diary of a minor author of monetary value (I think Kenneth Goldsmith’s recent work points to “YES”)?

    One of the longstanding arguments in favor of epublishing (ezines, blogs, etc.) is that they’re cheap to produce and free to access. They allow a larger audience for the work. Many of my chapbooks are available for free online for precisely this reason.

    But the private side of the blog, of course, I’m not as eager to distribute as I am eager to distribute my chapbooks for free. Still, there are readers for it. Partly I ask a fee as a token of respect– both for the amount of work and the nature of it.

    When crossing the Peace Bridge to Canada, one has to pay $0.25 “admission.” Like my $6.00 chapbook/blog fee, the amount is modest but the significance of paying to enter is enormous. In Canada’s case, they want you to understand the fact that you’re entering another country, with other laws, etc., and to respect the passage. The entry fee is similar here.)

  4. Lynn Behrendt says:

    I am very happy to pay for Foursquare books (you could charge more for them, and I would happily pay). I recently bought 2 copies of Organic Furniture Cellar, and would happily pay a sharply increased fee to get a signed copy of OFC. But I find the idea of paying to read a blog offensive.

    I’m not arguing that your (or anybody else’s) blog writing is not publication, I just think that one of the great things about internet publication is that it’s free & open to anyone interested enough to read. Have you ever been to Beard of Bees, for example? Great, amazing, incredible electronic books—all completely free. And can you imagine the uproar if Silliman started to charge to read his blog? (not saying that that would ever happy in a trillion years).

    I like you very much, and you have my respect & gratitude for the things you write here and for your energy & tireless efforts in publishing, but you won’t get my admission fee. I think it’s a really shitty idea. Sorry. just my honest opinion.

  5. looktouch says:

    Well, sorry. As I said, it’s completely optional. I *can* imagine if Ron started charging for his blog. He would make money. Luckily, Ron already makes money, and seems to consider his blog some kind of portal to poetry, so it’s a charitable act that he gives it away (just as it’s a charitable act that so much work, including lots of my own, is available online for free). (Wait, can I reiterate that most of my work is available online for free? Most of my work is available online for free. And the things that are not free, like Foursquare, cost what it costs me to produce them… excluding, of course, labor.)

    I agree that it’s great that the internet allows us to put up work for free. Indeed, much of my blog and all? almost all? of my chapbooks take advantage of this. But just because the internet allows things to be free does not mean everything should be free. I would, for instance, happily pay to have access to the Dusie chaps. I think it would be fair to pay for access to that site and many others. A lot of work goes into internet publishing at all levels– not just editorial projects like Dusie but even personal blogs.

    As I said, publicly relevant posts are and will remain free. The only thing I’m charging a (modest) fee for is the diary/creative part of it. This way I can act as a portal to and participant in the online poetry community but my creative work isn’t given away for free. Why should I give my work away? Especially when I give so much of my other work (materials and creative/editorial labor) away? I asked to be paid a small amount for a fraction of my work, and you’re outraged?

    You can pay or not, it’s no skin off my back.

  6. Lynn Behrendt says:

    I’m not outraged. I think it’s a bad idea. And I really really don’t want to have a hostile exchange with you. I don’t feel outraged–I feel surprised–and even possibly a little hurt, as a person who’s read your diary-like posts for awhile and responded in a way that I had hoped would be supportive and maybe even helpful at times.

    I do acknowledge that you are very generous with all you do. I think you are energetic, creatively brilliant, extremely generous, and, from what I know of you, a great person. I believe I said one time on your blog that I felt it was generous of you to share so much of your self on your blog. Do you remember?

    But. It feels really wrong, to me, for someone to charge a fee to read his or her diary-like posts. I’m not cheap about paying for creative work–I’m sort of the opposite of that. I just don’t think of these diary-like posts as part of your “work.” Maybe that is the point where we disagree.

    I can definitely understand why you might want to be selective about who can read the diary entries and who can’t, since you put a lot of personal stuff in there. But charging people to read it? It feels as if you’re charging people to take part in a personal conversation, or charging people to be your friend or something.

    I’m not trying to be mean. And, well, ok, it’s no skin off your back (that is kind of hurtful too!) but I thought I’d put in my 2cent reaction. Take care.

  7. vonexviator says:

    I could understand the appeal of a Borges/Jesus/Mary/Plathy Icon for some but I find these things schlocky. I wouldn’t want be that close to those minor aphorisms either.

  8. looktouch says:

    Yeah… When I look at them again, I’m not that impressed. I am easily swayed by a picture of my dear Franz.

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