Until the 20th century it was generally assumed that a writer had said what he had to say in his works.
by John Updike
And another regrettable thing about death
is the ceasing of your own brand of magic,
which took a whole life to develop and market -
the quips, the witticisms, the slant
adjusted to a few, those loved ones nearest
the lip of the stage, their soft faces blanched
in the footlight glow, their laughter close to tears,
their tears confused with their diamond earrings,
their warm pooled breath in and out with your heartbeat,
their response and your performance twinned.
The jokes over the phone. The memories packed
in the rapid-access file. The whole act.
Who will do it again? That's it: no one;
imitators and descendants aren't the same.
Overheard on ExLibris:
Mark Godburn, owner of The Bookmark in North Canaan, CT, came up with this wonderful idea, and put it on ExLibris for fellow rare-book lovers to enjoy:
With the proliferation of e-books, I suppose the typical entry in the (online) catalog of the antiquarian bookseller of 2109 might read something like this:
Kindle Electronic Reader. Amazon, 2009. First production after the third recall, the rarest of all issues. 8vo. Original silver plastic casing, moderately scratched and soiled, well rubbed at extremities. Lacking the power adapter and jacket (as issued?). Screen cracked but holding. USB cable present. Batteries dead. Some evidence of old moisture stains on keyboard (probably Starbucks coffee) and noticable acidic odor. Slightly warped as usual from being left on hot dashboard. Tipped-in adhesive sticker on verso with faded name "Updike, J." may be the Beat Generation poet from Massachusetts and early 21st century radical political blogger (per Wikipedia). Slightly foxed but still desirable. Price: 100globalnotes.
To which Bob Kosovsky, the curator of rare books and manuscripts at the New York Library for the Performing Arts, responded:
Funny, but I suspect the date is in error. 2109? More like 2029, if not 2019. Technology evolves pretty fast.
Instrument of the Devil?
Good luck as you venture into cyber publication. I will try to make an effort from time to time to check it out on the computer, or, as I call it, the Instrument of the Devil. But you will forgive me, I hope, if I miss some electronic issues from time to time. This proud old dinosaur still prefers the feel and smell of real books and magazines.
Colonel Philip Wayne Corbett,
I, for one, am sorry to hear of the change for Fine Books and Collections. Rather than see what has become an excellent magazine with good articles, excellent design, and contents which appeal to a wide audience of book people fade into just another e-journal, website, or blog, have you considered making FB&C a nonprofit, and soliciting donations? A group of dedicated collectors kept The Colophon goingtwice. Surely, this country can support one printed bibliophile periodical of quality.
Mark Samuels Lasner,
Senior Research Fellow
University of Delaware Library
Yes, But Get With the Program
I just wanted to comment about your recent change-over to a monthly e-letter format as opposed to the printed bi-monthly. My first impression is that I am saddened because I think that your magazine was the best of its kind that I have ever subscribed to. However, after having reviewed your first e-letter, I believe that you are trying to retain much of the best in format and content attributes that were evident in the magazine version. And I understand the economics of your production costs versus needed advertisement and subscription income. Internet technology is the wave of the future, so businesses must restructure sometimes to be competitive. Based upon what I currently see and expect in the future, I will undoubtedly re-subscribe when the time comes. Meanwhile, I offer my best wishes for future success.
Los Angeles, CA