Editors’ Blog

Sold! At $4.50 a Word….

Monday, November 30th, 2009

By Larry Smith

Sold! We recently teamed up with Rob Walker and Josh Glenn’s Significant Objects project to see how well Six Words works with their contention that objects with stories attached to them increase in value. The pair have recruited writers like William Gibson, Nicholson Baker, and Curtis Sittenfeld to craft significance for flotsam purchased on the cheap at thrift stores, then selling story and object as a pair on eBay. That’s what we did with the object you see above and this winning story by Rob Agred, a Bronx-based dolly grip: “You lose,” she puffed. True. Again.” With those six words, this cueball lighter you see above increased 2700%, from $1 to $27. Or, $4.50 a word.

It wasn’t easy to arrive at one winner—scroll through the entries—or, more than 400 ways of looking at one thing, six words at a time.

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