Mr & Mrs Ron Blurb

some drama re: ron’s blurb of Pattie McCarthy’s Verso — have never read McCarthy, does anyone have any non-blurbist comments on the work? so i commented on ron’s blog re: the history of the blurb. the image below is one of the earliest blurbs, and what follows the image is a brief history of the blurb.

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The word originated in 1907. US humorist Gelett Burgess’s short 1906 book “Are you a bromide?” was presented in a limited edition to an annual trade association dinner. The custom at such events was to have a dust jacket promoting the work and with, as Burgess’ publisher B. W. Huebsch described it,

“the picture of a damsel–languishing, heroic, or coquettish — anyhow, a damsel on the jacket of every novel”

In this case the jacket proclaimed “YES, this is a “BLURB”!” and the picture was of a (fictitious) young woman “Miss Belinda Blurb” shown calling out, described as “in the act of blurbing”.

The name and term stuck for any publisher’s contents on a book’s back cover, even after the picture was dropped and only the complementary text remained.

(from wikipedia)

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9 thoughts on “Mr & Mrs Ron Blurb

  1. The book is the proud purple penultimate? What the hell? Purple People Pleaser anyone? That’s code for a Purple Grafix… that some friends used to own. Insanity…. Keep your blurb out of my cereal.

  2. I couldn’t leave the bromide thing well enough alone, so I had to hunt down the definitions:

    from Wikipedia:

    bromide ion is a bromine atom with charge of −1.

    Compounds with bromine in formal oxidation state −1 are called bromides. This can include ionic compounds such as caesium bromide or covalent compounds such as sulfur dibromide. One can test for a bromide ion by adding dilute nitric acid (HNO3), then silver nitrate (AgNO3). A cream precipitate forms that disappears in concentrated ammonia solution.

    but this, this is really funny…

    from dictionary.com

    bromide \BROH-myd\, noun:
    1. A compound of bromine and another element or a positive organic radical.
    2. A dose of potassium bromide taken as a sedative.
    3. A dull person with conventional thoughts.
    4. A commonplace or conventional saying.

  3. hee hee! that’s hilarious!

    yeah the whole blurb is a bit odd! if you click on the image and read passage, it reads very similarly to Ron’s blurb. My FAVORITE line is this:

    “It has that Certain Something which makes you want to crawl through thirty miles of dense tropical jungle and bite somebody in the neck.”

    if my book ever gets published, that will be my blurb!

    and congrats, you gat ANOTHER POINT!

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