Books are special, books are the way we talk to generations that have not turned up yet. The fact that we can actually, essentially communicate with the people in ancient Egypt, people in Rome and Greece, people in ancient Britain, people in New York in the 1920s who can communicate to us and change the way we think, and change the things that we believe.
I think that books are special. Books are sacred. And I think that when you are selling books, you have to remember that in all the profits and loss, in all of that, you are treading on sacred ground.
Hemingway and James Joyce were drinking buddies in Paris. Joyce was thin and bespectacled; Hemingway was tall and strapping. When they went out Joyce would get drunk, pick a fight with a bigger guy in the bar and then hide behind Hemingway and yell, “Deal with him, Hemingway. Deal with him.”
Between this and the story about him reassuring F. Scott Fitzgerald re dick size, I’m developing a picture of Hemingway as the mother hen of the disaffected white male literary set of the early 20th century.
He probably called up Steinbeck sometimes and was like I CAN’T EVEN WITH THESE DIPSHITS and Steinbeck was all “That’s what you get for living in Paris, asshole”.