Thursday, 9 September 2010
Here they are, the two autumn CBe books, Gabriel Josipovici’s Only Joking and Fergus Allen’s Before Troy. Not officially published until late next month, a date picked out of a hat, but they can be bought from the website NOW.
And – reminder – if you want Christopher Reid’s The Song of Lunch in its original CBe edition, which will go out of print when Faber take over the book next month, click on that one too.
Sales pitch over. Maybe it’s the weather (damp), maybe it’s that I’m tired – no, it isn’t those things, this happens every time – but when I collected the finished books there was a sense of anticlimax. All that thrill, work, fun, talk, could-do-this-or-could-do-that, for this? This small brown thing in a box, this one of a multitude in an age of digital reproduction? The journey not the arrival, I know. And because I’ve tasted the text so often while helping to cook these books it’s hard now to taste them afresh, with innocence. That is your privilege. Over to you.
That said, and having just come back from taking the above photo in the kitchen, I’m still indecently proud to be publishing these books. Josipovici, often type-cast as an ‘academic’, a word with derogatory overtones of cerebral dryness, is in fact as intelligently playful as you can get; he’s a liberating writer. The poems of Fergus Allen, who is 89 this year, marry an openness to experience, wonder, distress, to an uncanny precision of diction and form.