Tuesday, August 5, 2008

TV Sells Poetry

During last week's premiere episode for the second season of the hit AMC television series Mad Men, the character Don Draper observed a man reading Meditations in an Emergency, a collection of Frank O’Hara’s poems, and later in the show actually read the book himself. Over at the New York Times Freakonomics blog, Stephen J. Dubner remarks that the Amazon sales ranking for the O’Hara book a few minutes after Draper read it on TV was a "rather mediocre No. 15,565." According to Dubner, "this morning, at 8:30 a.m., the book was ranked No. 161. That probably represents only 50 or 100 copies sold, but it’s a pretty fantastic leap for a 50-year-old book of poems."

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