Sunday, March 27, 2011

Ides of March

It's a sunny day around the Bibliomanse, and while voluntarily standing between the pipes in the driveway and being used for target practice (as solid a definition of publishing as I have come up with in recent days) my mind has been wandering: to Elizabeth Taylor (namely: The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they're going to have some pretty annoying virtues); my own annoying virtues and vices (though mainly, of late, the latter); how those who declaim the loudest are often the most fearful; to the creeping horror I feel over an impending Aid to Publishers application and the extent to which I will go to avoid it (witness this blog post); the not-so-quiet desperation all publishers must feel when talking to accountants; to what we have to do as publishers to sell a book, and how much we can reasonably and rightly expect from our writers when we do so; about the to-ing and fro-ing between a certain poet and dynamo on this very subject over at Ephemeris; about the Ides of March and where the knife will come from; about Factotums and the book trade; how poorly we have, as publishers, made clear what it is we do here, and how much we do, and perhaps what we might do to change that; how a single 'thank-you' covers far more ground than a thousand belated apologies; from wage slaves to salary-serfs to whatever-the-hell I might be; to John Hartford and tall buildings, and how, even on a sunny early Spring day when I should be outside, I'm quite thankful that I don't work in them, even if it would mean that I'd get a bloody day off.

Also I've been thinking about Abraham, or one poet's portrait of him, and that I too will look forward to a time that "the incoherent promises of God go to seed / And miracles take root in the world..."

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