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Atwood, Margaret.

LETTER: TLS to Amanda Vaill on blurbs.


To Amanda Vaill
Atwood, Margaret. Typed letter signed, "Margaret Atwood" to Amanda Vaill, 24 June 1988; one 8 ½" x 11" leaf; creased from mailing; recto only.
Atwood writes a highly-entertaining response to Vaill's request for Atwood to blurb upcoming titles for the publishing house. Atwood begins by describing the plight of the working novelist: "Deer are not hunted out of season, as to do so would interfere with their survival prospects. It is considered unethical to fish by lamplight…Novelists in the act of novelizing are the equivalent to out-of-season animals, and should not be hunted." She goes on:
Many untimely writer deaths and mishaps have occurred through violation of this principle. It is not generally known that Keats did not die from T.B., but from a surfeit of poetry books sent to him for his comment. Emily Dickenson did not immure herself in a cupboard out of shyness or eccentricity, but to protect herself from reviewers' copies. What did the person from Porlock want of Coleridge? Surely you know!
Atwood declines Vaill's request, warning "I am sure you would not want my head to burst through a surfeit of blurb request made to an out-of-season writer," concluding that, were she "in season, of course, it would be another matter…"

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