Dalkey Asshole Press
The Dalkey Archive Press has recently solicited applications for employment. Dalkey books I love and respect, but the head honcho deserves excoriation for the inquisition-inspired demands. Despite Sir Dalkey-himself John O’Brien’s defense at the Irish Times, where he calls for the appreciation of his ironic epiphanies, he leaves too much genuine sentiment to mitigate the arrogance. O’Brien wants free labor, and he wants to condescend to their ambition. Here, straight from the mouth, are some of his requirements:
2) …do not have any other commitments (personal or professional) that will interfere with their work at the Press (family obligations, writing, involvement with other organizations, degrees to be finished, holidays to be taken, weddings to attend in Rio, etc.).
1) …being unavailable at night or on the weekends.
2) …giving unsolicited advice about how to run things.
3) …taking personal phone calls during work hours.
4) …failing to respond to emails in a timely way.
The LA Times has a more comprehensive response, and my Facebook “friends” certainly are not silent. Yet, to me, this job seemed intriguing and a challenge. I like challenges. Thus I fired off this to DAP:
I would like to apply for a position at the Dalkey Archive Press. Here are some of my talents:
1) I love working for psychopaths.
2) I’m a masochist.
3) I have no life, professional or otherwise.
4) I have no self-respect.
5) I’m compulsive in my dedication and addiction to literature.
As you see, I meet all the criteria implied in your request.
Let me know if you would like to see a C.V.
Afterword: I imagine Dalkey is being deluged with snark. As they well should be. Certainly, if you take art seriously you must have discipline and commitment, but you cannot be so insular, inhuman, and anti-social that you sacrifice mutual respect and bottom line courtesy. The control-freak-OCD mania that oozes out of the Dalkey Manifesto indicates a lack of reasonable protocol.