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.
    http://www.shelleybates.com

  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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