Results 1 to 3 of 3
  1. #1
    Eway is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    514
    Post Thanks / Like
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default morphine, boutique houses, BBD and qualifications for fear?

    I am reading a book called Sideways and feel very lost about the following paragraph:

    There was the second tier:less prestigious houses, which meant less advance money, and considerably less budget for promotion once I got published... The slow morphine drip continued as more rejection letters sluiced through Evelyn's New York office and were shunted to me in L.A. Bringing up the rear was the third tier: boutique houses on the periphery seeking a home run and a move into the second tier. Short of vanity presses and the Internet self-publishing venues, this was where Evelyn disembarked and moved on to the BBD - bigger and better deal. We were clinging to tattered ribbons and we both knew it.
    "Great," I replied, almost not wanting to hear the qualifications for fear they would put a damper on my excitement."
    ...

    1. What does it mean by slow morphine drip here? I don't understand what's the whole thing to do with morphine!

    2. Is boutique house a kind of publishers? This paragraph seems to talk about different types of publishers. But to my knowledge, boutique houses sell expensive clothes and accessaries instead of books...

    3. Does BBD here mean that Evelyn tries to find a better publisher for the writer or she just gives up on this writer and turns to work on other cases? This may not seem so important but I just want to clarify the ambiguity.

    4. What does it mean by qualifications for fear? To my knowledge, qualifications are to do with professional certificates. I can't figure out what qualifacations for fear can be.

  2. #2
    SweetMommaSue's Avatar
    SweetMommaSue is offline Junior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    95
    Post Thanks / Like
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Smile Re: morphine, boutique houses, BBD and qualifications for fear?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eway
    I am reading a book called Sideways and feel very lost about the following paragraph:

    There was the second tier:less prestigious houses, which meant less advance money, and considerably less budget for promotion once I got published... The slow morphine drip continued as more rejection letters sluiced through Evelyn's New York office and were shunted to me in L.A. Bringing up the rear was the third tier: boutique houses on the periphery seeking a home run and a move into the second tier. Short of vanity presses and the Internet self-publishing venues, this was where Evelyn disembarked and moved on to the BBD - bigger and better deal. We were clinging to tattered ribbons and we both knew it.
    "Great," I replied, almost not wanting to hear the qualifications for fear they would put a damper on my excitement."
    ...
    1. What does it mean by slow morphine drip here? I don't understand what's the whole thing to do with morphine! It is my guess that this is a metaphor! Morphine is numbing, receiving many rejection letters would eventually become numbing, too.

    2. Is boutique house a kind of publishers? This paragraph seems to talk about different types of publishers. But to my knowledge, boutique houses sell expensive clothes and accessaries instead of books...

    3. Does BBD here mean that Evelyn tries to find a better publisher for the writer or she just gives up on this writer and turns to work on other cases? This may not seem so important but I just want to clarify the ambiguity.

    4. What does it mean by qualifications for fear? To my knowledge, qualifications are to do with professional certificates. I can't figure out what qualifacations for fear can be.
    Hello Eway!

    Well, I'm not at all familiar with the book and the excerpt doesn't provide me with enough background to know what they're talking about, either. However, I can address the question you have pertaining to (about) "qualifications for fear".

    The sentence can be better understood if you put a comma after the word "qualifications" because that is where the pause is.
    "Great," I replied, almost not wanting to hear the qualifications, for fear they would put a damper on my excitement."
    Here, the speaker is afraid to hear what the qualifications are for the particular venture they are researching or looking at because the speaker feels that the qualifications would be so high that he/she would never have a chance to meet them. The speaker feels inadequate, insecure. When something "puts a damper on" someone's enthusiasm or excitement, it takes away that excitement. So he/she is afraid to hear what the qualifications are in case the standards are too high and the speaker would then lose interest in continuing; he'd give up trying to get what he was after.

    I hope this helps your understanding of this part of the excerpt.

    We'll either need somone else more familiar with this text or more context to explain the rest.
    Smiles,
    Sweet Momma Sue

  3. #3
    Eway is offline Senior Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    514
    Post Thanks / Like
    Downloads
    0
    Uploads
    0

    Default Re: morphine, boutique houses, BBD and qualifications for fear?

    Thank you. Sweet Momma Sue.
    Here comes more context. I'd really appreciate it if someone can help me out!


    As I was about to shutter the house the phone rang a second time, jangling my nerves. I raced over to the caller ID, expecting it to be my disgruntled landlord again, amplifying on his first message with another warning salvo. But the number that came up on the display was a 212 area code so I lunged for the phone.
    "Hello," I answered breathlessly.
    "Miles," sang a cheery woman's voice. "It's Evelyn, your favorite agent." She was the sixth in a long line of backstabbing sharks, but so far she seemed to be the rare exception: an agent who believed in me. "Evelyn, what's up? You sound upbeat for a change." In fact, she had that uncharacteristic lilt in her voice that promised argosies, ships of fortune that would diminish the pain of the thirty-five rejection letters from the who's who of major publishing houses that I had arrayed on my living room walls: a festoon of failure, I proudly told everyone.
    "Some potentially good news," Evelyn said. "Richard Davis at Conundrum liked your book."
    My jaw dropped. The novel she was referring to had been shopped around New York for nearly a year now with no takers. There had been the first tier of submissions to the cream of the crop, when excitement was high and optimism exaggerated. Then there was the second tier: less prestigious houses, which meant less advance money, and considerably less budget for promotion once I got published, which I still assumed I would. The slow morphine drip continued as more rejection letters sluiced through Evelyn's New York office and were shunted to me in L.A. Bringing up the rear was the third tier: boutique houses on the periphery seeking a home run and a move into the second tier. Short of vanity presses and the Internet self-publishing venues, this was where Evelyn disembarked and moved on to the BBD-bigger and better deal. We were clinging to tattered ribbons and we both knew it.

    "Great," I replied, almost not wanting to hear the qualifications for fear they would put a damper on my excitement.
    "He's passing it to the other senior editors to read over the weekend, I'm expecting a decision toward the end of next week. Of course, he recommended some revisions."
    "Of course," I replied. "A publishing deal would certainly have that galvanic effect on me." Evelyn laughed heartily, the gallows laugh of a hardworking agent who wasn't getting any younger.
    "So, we're in pretty good shape," she said. "I've got my fingers crossed." "Terrific," I replied, glancing at my watch. "I'm getting ready to take off for a little trip."

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •