Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Literary Spam

Spammers have lately managed to some positive attention with their intriguing subject lines and excerpts from classic literature in the body. It is easy to ignore the distraction posed by a couple of Viagra and Xanax references and still enjoy the prose. We may owe this new spam genre to effective spam filters a la Paul Graham and Project Gutenberg. Sometimes, there is nothing else besides the piece of literary text in the body. For instance, I got this in my mailbox today.

I did not regard it so much as a clock, as something to look at. And yet when I first saw him I didn’t like him .I asked, waving my hand at the same time to Steak. Men and women surged about the stands hurling money away with both hands. Don’t be foolish, she said, pressing it into my hand. Two shillings, I continued, and a concession which will very likely prove valueless. I like Stan, murmured Eggs, but I don’t value his friendship half as much as Jacks. Do you think I'd run away from that ignorant slob! He looked, to put it mildly, discontented. In that case, I replied, there will be some more adjudicating. As there was nothing of real interest to Stanley in the letter, I tore it up. I was not afraid of Slatter; he was something tangible that could be dealt with. I had finished my meal and was scooping the last vestiges from my plate. Maureen and Daisy hurriedly turned the pages of their race-books .It would be the end of your existence if you were playing at the camp with the boys. It looked like an even chance of my becoming a co-respondent or a corpse. Extra special eggs, waiter, and porterhouse steak. It was a couple of hours later when I returned. Followed sundry items of great interest about Stanley’s grandmother and Stanley’s grandmothers parrot. It is hard to know how to treat a boy like Stanley. The noise of the party was increasing, a thing that I had not considered possible .Champagne is another symbol of achievement.


While it was not too meaningful, I found this excerpt quite interesting. Interesting enough for me to find out where that passage was lifted from. It is probably from the book The Freelands by John Galsworthy. If a product or service was being pitched to me between the lines, I sure did not get that message. The good news for the spammer however, is that I opened the mail and read it in its entirety. So, if on a later date there were indeed a plug for the best Botox alternative or dirt cheap Hoodia chances are I will read that too. This could also work very well as a viral marketing campaign for a new book perhaps by a self published author.

At any rate I will be keeping an eye out for interesting literary spam.

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