Has it come to this for Alain Badiou, that he has to blurb his own books?

11 Responses to “Self-Promotion”

  1. Mikhail Emelianov Says:

    I think self-blurbing is the future – think about it: who knows your book better than you? I mean nothing prevents an honest writer to put a humble “This book is okay, but not a must-read, I could have done a better job, but read it anyway, please?”

  2. Brad Johnson Says:

    Or, “It took so long for this book actually to get to press that I only stand by chapters two & four now, which leaves you with a nice, manageable essay.”

  3. Colin Says:

    I own a book that has the exact blurbs from the author’s other book on the back, perhaps this indicates the author himself doesn’t stand by his work.

  4. Rob L Says:

    It’s hard to find ‘big names’ that are actually communists; social democrats there are aplenty, but someone willing to denounce parliamentary democracy? That’s why he and Slavoj were the only ones who could blurb it in good faith.

  5. Anthony Paul Smith Says:

    Any of the other speakers at the Idea of Communism conference, most of them big names, are willing to denounce parliamentary democracy. So…

  6. Brad Johnson Says:

    In the interests of full-disclosure: the book is really quite good & worth your time.

  7. Adam Kotsko Says:

    I’m disappointed my publisher didn’t offer me the same option — perhaps on the model of newspaper/magazine reviews that are often quoted by the publication instead of the author, so it could be “An und für sich (blog)” instead of “Adam Kotsko.”

  8. Richard Says:

    Is it really a blurb? And not just the earlier statement of the hypothesis? Am I killing the joke?

  9. Rob L Says:

    I was about to concede your point, but I thought I’d run through the always-enjoyable process of replying with cliches.

    disclaimer: “well, y’know I was sort of joking, and it was an off-the-cuff remark anyway, intended to be light-hearted, &c”

    partial admission of guilt: “I mean, what does he mean by Communism anyway?? I should know, but I haven’t read the book…. ”

    standard qualification: “By ‘denounce’ I didn’t just mean criticise, but to actually call into question the appropriateness of parliamentary democracy for any and all societies engaged in political organisation of themselves….”

    change the goalposts: “…and by parliamentary, I really mean representative democracy of any kind, and by that, I really mean democracy of any kind…”

    attempt to employ a disconfirming example: “Because, I mean, Vattimo was at that conference, and he only ascribes to a ‘weak communism’ which is really just a fancy version of social democracy, because, I mean, would Vattimo say that he didn’t want the People determining themselves??”

    make fallacious argument: “and, of course, Vattimo himself was a member of the European parliament, therefore he can’t be against parliamentary democracy…”

    imply that we both really agree, it was just a difference in how we defined our terms: “so yeah, I take your point, but I basically think we agree, we just had different ostensible meanings for the central concepts…”

    end with an attempt to establish rapport: “… so, yeah… how bout them Yankees?”

  10. Guido Nius Says:

    I can’t say self-blurbing is working for me.

  11. Anthony Paul Smith Says:

    Ha! Did you see Vattimo? It was so awful. Like someone gave crazy rambling grandpa a microphone.

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