Book cover marketing FAIL?

I saw these books sitting in a shop window the other day and the first thing I did was laugh. Why? Well, seeing the four lined up like this seemed like a list of clich├ęs.

Photo of book covers

Germaine Greer On Rage? Well, yes, she does get more than a little grumpy, wink wink, eh? (Although as someone asked me, “Greer on Rage? What would she guest program?”) David Malouf On Experience? Yeah, he’s getting a bit long in the tooth, sure… and need I mention the probable subject of Blanche d’Alpuget’s longing in On Longing?

Yeah, time for another nudge-nudge wink-wink there too.

Now Mark Pesce tells me that Greer’s book is written in the context of the NT Intervention — something worth getting angry about. “A cogent book about rage,” he says. “Perhaps an important one. Time will tell.”

Sure, he’s a fan. Greer is an important public intellectual, though, and today’s First Dog on the Moon cartoon explains very well why everyone hates Germaine Greer. But for me the line-up of little pastel covers and the gift-set option tells me this is for people who want to look like they’re intellectuals.

If Greer’s book is indeed important, then it needs to be more than a fetish for someone’s mantlepiece, along with that unread (and unreadable) hardback of Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose. And maybe that means more descriptive covers?

The Beast is Dead

Foxtel recorded the last episode of Beauty & the Beast last week. Good riddance. That’s one less outlet for the toxic opinions of Stan Zemanek. It’s also an end for a program which, since 1964, has institutionalized sexism by apparently requiring four “lightweight” opinions from women to “balance” one strong, solid man. How about we replace it with A Beauty and the Beasts, a panel show hosted by, oh, Germaine Greer balanced out by Richard Wilkins, Jamie Durie, Anthony Callea and Eddie Maguire. Any other suggestions?