Friday, October 9, 2020

A Scholar and a Gentleman or The Writer Writ

Yesterday, the postman brought me a parcel.

That doesn't happen very often, unless brother John has a new volume of verse out.

Well, it was indeed a book. A very lovely-looking book. I look forward to getting past page three. Page three, you see, brought me up short with amazement and delight ...

Now, writers of books are, truthfully, often not very generous. I have happed upon 'works' that simply take swodges of another's (and I don't mean just mine) original research and churn it out again, as all their own work. It's quite easy. You just credit a horde of ancient or minor or tertiary sources as a 'beard', University thesis-style. And then have a wee sneer, CUP style, at the book pilfered from. I'm a little hard to pinch from, word-for-word, for, as those who have read my books will know, I have a rather individdle turn-of-phrase. But what the heck ... the cut-and-pasters are missing all the joy of the hunt ...

Of course, I suppose it's always likely to be the best and most established writers who are willing to be the most generous. It is certainly the case here. Tom Hischak donned the mantle of the wonderful Gerry Bordman at OUP when Gerry's theatre and musical-theatre books needed updating and he has carried on from there as one of the American theatre's principal chroniclers ...

So, I'm all the more blushingly proud of his dedication.

Maybe we'll even meet one day!

And now, back to checking the edited typescript of my own next volume. I'll get into MIK-MAT with cocktails this evening ..

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