Monday, 5 March 2007

In the shadow of apathy?

A great previous post by blogger number 3 (!) a recent but temporary addition to our staff from Shakespeare and Company Paris. Isabelle Eberhardt, the writer she mentions has been on our list a while. A couple of years ago the people at P.O.P. added her first volume, In the Shadow of Islam, to our Modern Classics series fully intending to bring out the next two volumes in the trilogy a few months down the line after the obvious success of the first. It had everything: a great piece of writing (which should be all that matters) AND one that ticked all the boxes imaginable for those who like their boxes ticked, very independent woman, clash between Islam and the West, love, travel, there was even a TV documentary starring a journalist following in Eberhardt's footsteps. And? nothing, nope, nada or as Eberhardt would have said; 'rien'. Those that like our books ( < enough) stocked it, those that don't seem to (> > > many) didn't. We're still struggling to bring out the sequel. There are far far too many great and importantauthors in the same leaky boat.

A comment in the Bookseller two weeks ago by an editor being interviewed for her editorial success in bringing out the Peter Kay autobiography.

'Books are important, but not that important. It sounds quite wanky to say that, but it keeps you in check'

It WOULD be difficult not to get 'out of check' musing on the importance of Peter Kay's middle aged ramblings. Or the thoughts of Chantelle. For which said editor was also responsible.

Or take the person who decides what books go on Richard and Judy (For which a publisher must commit to spending thousands pounds even to be considered) who says that she 'hates the word literary' it 'puts people off' apparently.

I saw the best minds of my generation etc.

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