Tuesday, February 02, 2010

at least one thoughtful letter

Over on the Faber & Faber blog, The Thought Fox, Faber's Editorial Director, Lee Blackstone, has penned a rather curious, slightly sweet and more than a little embarrasing open letter to Morrissey, in which he asks Moz to consider f&f as the publisher for his much-rumoured memoirs. Its high-level of obsequious fawning demands attention.

Dear Morrissey,

In the hope that you might consider bringing your much-rumoured memoir to The House of Eliot, I am posting this letter on the Faber website. Forlorn as this hope may be, I can only fantasise that at least you might read my letter through and consider the pleasures and prestige of being an author at Faber, the last great family-owned independent publishing house in the western hemisphere.

I have been trying to persuade you of the virtues and wisdom of this for some years now. You probably won’t remember. We even corresponded at one point via a friend of yours, an author of mine, most famous for his biography of Roxy Music which ends just as the band are getting together. You see, we love the perverse and the contrary at Faber. And we also like to think we are the custodians of twentieth-century Modernist poetry. In fact we are. Our shelves groan and bulge and spill over under the weight of Ezra, Larkin, Hughes and Heaney. And that’s just the surface; deep as it may seem. We feel very strongly that you belong in this company. To me (and to many of my colleagues) you are already in this company. It would be the fulfilment of my most pressing and persistent publishing dream to see that ‘ff’ sewn into the spine of your Life. Just any other publisher won’t do. You deserve Faber and the love we can give you. History demands it; destiny commands it.

I don't really get it. Morrissey has already created his great work - the lyrics he wrote in the 1980s. If Faber really feel that his work belongs in the company of Ezra Pound and Philip Larkin, they should just ask him if they can publish his best lyrics in their poetry imprint.

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