by jkatejohnston

9 November 2013

Dear Max,

I don’t think procrastination has as good a reputation as it deserves. There’s something so delicious about the moment when you decide not to do something you don’t want to do. Even the guilt contributes to the pleasure—gives it a little edge.

All this brought on because I was thinking about how I should shake off my genius for obscurity and go on social media and promote on The Life of Johnston brand. I published my first book on Amazon over a year ago and only yesterday learned that there’s such a thing as an Amazon sales rank. Not even my mom reviews my books on Amazon. (She does buy them and press them into the puzzled hands of her book club members. As Enzo would say, Awk-ward.)

But attention on social media is like oral sex—you have to give it to get it. And I don’t want to give it. I don’t want to go on Facebook and like people’s dogs. Fuck their dogs. And their blogs. I don’t want to Tweet, I want to Woof.

(Do woofers and tweeters even exist anymore? Or does everyone just have earbuds now? And, while I’m in parentheses, I hope it’s obvious that none of this applies to very few blogs and Twitter accounts I actually do follow—that’s a different thing.)

So I decided that my litel bokes will just have to go on their own, and the relief was sweet. But the whole subject made my mind start to whir with ideas for promoting Mudrick Transcribed (if I ever get it done, and don’t hold your breath.) A book that entertaining ought to be more known. I want to make them all talk Mudrick—I want to Mudrickize the land![1] A podcast of the audio files!—chapters issued serially in a blog!—comments!—buzz!—a blog of short pieces by people who knew him, including that wonderful, wonderful piece by Al Stephens! And since I never met Mudrick, I wouldn’t have to write anything! I love that.

Here’s the Al Stephens piece.


I think it would also be fascinating to find people who couldn’t stand Mudrick—no shortage of those—and interview them. When I was in grad school I met a woman who’d had Mudrick as a teacher about twenty years before, and she hated him with such a fresh, keen hatred. I told her he was dead. She was glad.

[1] “An honorable and reverend friend speaking of the favourable reception of my volumes, even in the circles of fashion and elegance, said to me, ‘You have made them all talk Johnson.” — Yes, I may add, I have Johnsonised the land; and I trust they will not only talk, but think, Johnson.” (Life of Johnson, Advertisement To the Second Edition.)