Monday, January 19, 2004


If you are a bookish person and have an ebay account look up a seller named "richardstarling". He's hilarious.

I spend way too much time on ebay this time of the year, and buying books is my general vice anyway (indeed, books are the only things I've ever stolen; though street sign theft and other similar juvenile delinquency was pretty much an every weekend vocation for a period there in high school, the only things I can ever remember stealing in a shoplifting sort of way were books from my old high school's library; I probably only stole a half dozen at most in grand total and none were very popular I can assure you). So, well, anyway, I read a lot of ads.

mr. starling is a hawker par excellence.

His blurb for Susan Sontag's On Photography : ...'This hardback book is in fine condition, and the dust jacket is very good [...] and while not dingy, could best be described as "dispirited" or "unenthusiastic." Perhaps it’s the gray color which is at fault. In any case, this is a book cover for which the Brodart clear book condom provides the perfect solution, and, once equiped, it boasts a spiffy and reckless, edgy insouciance which many a more graceful, better-designed jacket might well envy. These highly acclaimed essays originally appeared in somewhat different form in the New York Review of Books and evoked a great dal of correspondence and reader response. Would that this descrption evokes a similar response from ebay grazers.'


Or A Day In Old Athens by W. S. Davis; notice the totally unfair but totally true slap at poor Socrates :

'This little book tries to descibe what an intelligent person would see if transported to Athens in the year 360 and given a tour by a competent guide. This period was selected because Athens was almost architecturally perfect, and civil and social life were at their best. By this time Socrates had been edited out of the body politic and so citizens were free to go about their business without fear of being buttonholed and subjected to interminable questions about their beliefs.'

mr starling cleverly put half of the subject tag for Latin Literature in Translation in PIG Latin. Silly, but remember this is ebay where the inspired merely steal amazon's blurbs while others usually write something along the lines of "LoT of 3 ecxellnet BOOOKS!! literature and tonns of great riting including Harold Robbins!!!" or some similar shit. At least starling knows what he's selling for the most part, and what he doesn't know isn't, according to my taste, usually worth knowing anyway.

At any rate, it's always nice to encounter wit and humour in the most unexpected places.