read late last night

It is my desire to set out clearly my account of events, and not bother with the sillinesses indulged in by so-called authors trying to earn spurious fame. God forbid that I should ever suffer the shame of publishing a book for money, or of having one of my family so demean themselves. How can one tell who might read it? No worthy book has ever been written for gain, I think; occasionally I am forced to listen to someone reading to while away time in the evening and, on the whole, I find it all quite absurd. All those elaborate conceits and hidden meanings. Say what you mean to say, and then be silent, is my motto, and books would better–and a lot shorter–if more people listened to my advice. – Iain Pears, An Instance of the Fingerpost (p203, trade edition)

12 responses to “read late last night

  1. Would be a lot fewer 150,000+ word book-lengths, that’s for sure. 🙂

  2. …Huh? o0;;
    I think I need more coffee…

  3. It kind of reads like Edgar Allan Poe, doesn’t it?

  4. Are you enjoying the book? I keep eying it at the bookstore, but I’ve never picked it up. Let us know what you think when you’re done!

    • So far I am. It took me a bit to get into it and was quite a switch from the last two (non-manuscript) books I read: Kim Stanley Robinson’s The Years of Rice and Salt and Jennifer Weiner’s In Her Shoes. And I tend to only get in 60-80pp per week because otherwise I feel occasionally guilty about the submissions that are awaiting my attention. Except for nights like last night when I couldn’t sleep.

  5. spurious fame?
    Hey, if he doesn’t want the spurious fame, I’ll take it.
    Shelley B.

  6. Y’know, if he really feels that way about it, I’d be happy to relieve him of all those nasty royalties.

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