It was the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis and then of the Profumo affair, of Mandy Rice-Davies and Christine Keeler—the hot topic of conversation at the trucking company, largely because my fellow rate clerk happened to be an expatriate Brit.
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I’ve reached an age when anything accomplished invites the pleasingly macabre thought that it might be the last, and it is with something of this feeling I publish my new book.
The methods and the tools would have been recognisable to Gutenberg and Caxton. Slugs and leading, furniture and quoins, composing sticks, a small hand-cranked platen press for proofs, a big motor-driven one (ker-plunk, ker-plunk) for print runs.
I have been corresponding with Katia Kelly, the blogger in Brooklyn who uncovered Paul Manafort’s fiddle in Carroll Gardens. Not about that; rather about the fate of a church building at 297–299 Carroll Street.
Nothing is spared and nothing is explained. No motive, no reason. Eventually we will get there but not now, and anyway these are not really very important. What is important is that we are pitched headlong into the story. Propelled by pity and terror.
“To be honourable and courteous and brave,” he says. What is wrong with that? Why is that useless? Perhaps because Lewis does not wish to persuade us to be gentlemen; he wishes to persuade us to be Christians.