Posts Tagged ‘d-list’

Comme il faut

Tuesday, October 5th, 2010

Tasteful readers!  Many thanks to everyone who submitted Kafka porn contest entries!  Frankly I received a few that were maybe a teeny bit more literal than I had been expecting, but I believe this is what makes the internet great.  I am delighted to announce the winning entry, by Lydia Kiesling: “Kafka porn is snuff porn that you didn’t actually watch but got arrested for anyway.”  An honorable mention goes to Dimiter Kenarov, for “undressing a person only to find new and new layers of clothing underneath.”  Unfortunately, neither Kiesling nor Kenarov wants the grand prize (my bed), so they get book prizes and I’m trying to sell the bed on Craigslist; big thanks to Andrew Leland of the Believer for already purchasing my (and my intern’s) favorite red chair, as well as two lamps, an ottoman, a saucepan, a carpet steam-cleaner, some geranium-scented laundry detergent, and approximately eight pounds of rice.  Buon appetito, Mr. Leland!

In other exciting news from the C-plus-list, I recently got my first magazine story killed!  It was a searing personal memoir of my Kindle drunk-dialing problem, commissioned by O, the Oprah Magazine, a publication to which I will always be grateful for its support of The Possessed. Unfortunately, as Oprah herself will tell you, no relationship is 100% smooth sailing, and O and I just weren’t able to see eye-to-eye on my Kindle drunk-dialing problem.  As a result, I recently received my first kill fee: a strange experience, because you realize at a certain point that what they are saying to you is basically “Take the money, take the money—just don’t make us publish it!”  For this reason, when I read the invoice that said “KILL FEE/ DRUNKEN KINDLE,” a tiny part of me felt like I had extorted Oprah. It was a strange, not un-empowering feeling.


In further empowering news, I am honored and happy to report that the Guardian ran a version of the Kindle piece on Saturday, so  nobody has to suffer in suspense regarding my super-classy ebook habits.  Read it and weep!  I mean it—it’s all very sad.


Kafka porn contest

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Patient readers!  I promised a Kafka contest, and here it is.  In the course of researching my recent Kafka article, I was interested to learn about a 2008 Kafka pornography scandal, provoked by the publication of James Hawes’s Excavating Kafka (the US title of which, Why You Should Read Kafka before You Waste Your Life, makes me proud to be an American).  As the Guardian put it:

At the focus of Hawes’ investigation are pictures he stumbled across in the British Library in London and the Bodleian in Oxford of the pornography to which Kafka subscribed while in his twenties. They include images of a hedgehog-style creature performing fellatio, golem-like male creatures grasping women’s breasts with their claw-like hands and a picture of a baby emerging from a sliced-open leg.

Myriad questions came to my mind.  Whom or what was that hedgehog-style creature fellating?  Was the Guardian being anti-Semitic when they called that breast-grasping creature a Golem?  And who wants to see a baby coming out of someone’s leg?  I consulted Google for answers and came across a terrifically helpful blog post which identifies and reproduces Aubrey Beardsley’s representation of a very angry-looking baby being removed from some guy’s leg (below), as per the description, in Lucian’s second-century proto-sci-fi hit True History, of how children are birthed on the Moon:



Word of the day

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010

Literate readers!  If you haven’t already, now is the time to vote in the Google/ Gogol pun contest.  Gogol Documents and Gogol Maps have been neck to neck for the past 48 hours—and it isn’t too late for Gogolplex to make an amazing comeback either!

In the meantime I am happy to share with you yesterday’s OED word of the day.  The D-list has made it to the A-list of dictionaries!

D-list, n. and adj.


orig. U.S.

Brit. /{sm}di{lm}l{shti}st/, U.S. /{sm}di{smm}l{shti}st/  [< D n. + LIST n.6 , after A-LIST n., B-LIST n., C-LIST n.]

A. n.

1. The fourth in a series of lists, esp. lists ranked in order of preference or significance.

1951 White Bk. Aggressive Activities towards Yugoslavia (Yugoslav Min. Foreign Affairs) II. iii. 301 They had instructions to put through the proposed ‘D’ list in its entirety. They refuse to lift the ‘export ban’. 1957 B. HIGGINS Indonesia’s Econ. Stabilization & Devel. i. 3 Imports were divided into four categories: an ‘A’ list of free imports, a ‘B’ list requiring payment of 100 percent ‘inducement’, a ‘C’ list requiring payment of 200 percent inducement, and a prohibited ‘D’ list. 1987 in T. McCourt Conflicting Communication Interests in Amer. (1999) ii. 52 ‘What kind of cuts..are you considering for CPB?’ Stockman said, ‘Well, let’s see. We have an A, a B, a C, and a D list. They’re on our D list. That’s a 50 percent cut.’

2. Any (notional) list comprising only the least celebrated or important members of a particular group, esp. in the entertainment industry or the media.


Victory for T. Mercer!

Saturday, March 6th, 2010

Inexorable readers!  I write to you with wonderful news!  It looks like FSG finally caved under the pressure of all those 3-star reviews… because The Possessed is now available on Kindle!  My one regret is that there is now pretty much no incentive to develop the S W Foska’s brilliant idea about making the paperback edition convertible into a Brita filter.  I guess it’s proof that great minds think alike, because my my smartest intern, Friday, who is also in charge of R&D here at My Life and Thoughts, actually explored this idea a few months ago by spilling a large glass of water onto my copy of The Brothers Karamazov, which promptly expanded to approximately 250% of its original, already non-negligible, size.  Notwithstanding these spectacular results, there are still a few bugs that have to be ironed out before we can go commercial—e.g., the water that actually made it through the “filter” looked sort of gray and unpalatable (I guess these are the visible traces of literary knowledge).


I’m still one of you guys—I swear!

Thursday, December 31st, 2009

OK OK, I know what you’re all probably thinking: “Ohh, now that Elif has clawed her way to the C-list, she must spend all her time doing cocaine with hedge-fund managers and being too much of a big-shot to write on her blog anymore.”  Well au contraire, chers lecteurs: in fact I have been prevented from blogging, not by hours of yelling at the interns for messing up the triple-organic fair-trade cappuccinos, but by the relentless pursuit of journalistic truth, to the extent that I even spent all afternoon yesterday plucking turkeys in a village near the Sea of Marmara.

Here you can see me hanging out with my new friend Duygu, who is 12 years old and wants to be a nurse when she grows up. She is definitely an A-list turkey-plucker. (I think I am somewhere on the H-list.)

123009 057

Duygu’s rents are also pretty cool: