Saturday, 10 December 2011

Thief in the night

I was tired, and I left three boxes of books, collected from the printer, in the car overnight. Someone got into the car (I have difficulty with always remembering to lock doors and to turn off the gas ring after cooking scrambled eggs). I know this because my reserve pack of cigarettes had gone and one of the boxes had been torn open – but none of the books had been taken, not one. (This appears to be supporting evidence for the statement by James Sutherland-Smith in a review in the new issue of The Bow-Wow Shop that 'CB editions has established a reputation for publishing what it likes rather than what everybody else likes'.)

Last week Christopher Logue died – whom I worked with at Faber, of whom I was very fond. This week, Gilbert Adair – whom I also worked with, whom I also was very fond of. Patient, funny, tireless; for the paperback editions of his books, following the hardbacks, he’d make many revisions, tiny and perfectionist, and because nothing was ever done until it was seen to be done he insisted on sitting next to me and watching as I took in those corrections onscreen. I told him that I’d started CBe not for the money but for the pleasure, the fun; ah, he said, une petite danseuse.


Ms Baroque said...

Lovely, Charles. It seems particularly though at the moment. But you know if I broke into your car, I'd take a book. And maybe one for a friend.

charles said...

But you'd have left me my cigarettes.

It's the ones who pushed out in the 1960s, one by one, and it's awful. Adair was in Paris in '68, Logue in the 50s, Ken Russell's wild films. Ken G, mentioned in the previous post, resigned as a governor of Hornsey Art College in '67 and joined the student sit-in the next year. Something's being lost, slipping by.