Presque vu X
Out of the boxes came extraordinary treasures: photographs of the young swell at Cambridge in the 1930s; precious letters saved from the thousands he’d received in a long lifetime; the old man’s beret and beanie; theatre programs from four continents; a pile of recipes in his own hand; and the carbons of half a dozen brutal letters of dismissal of old friends, old agents and politicians he’d once supported.
“In the days when we spoke from the same platform I believe we were on about the same issues,” he wrote to the NSW premier Neville Wran in 1985. “Since success grabbed you, you have become a megalomaniac politician more interested in votes and your own glory than in human beings.”
The Nobel laureate with more than a dozen books in print earned less than $7000 in royalties in the six months before he died.
Some words that may come in useful:
Adroit: Having ready skill, dexterous, active, clever.
Encomium: A formal or high-flown expression of praise; a eulogy, panegyric.
Rubric: A class or category.
Petrona has this little gem for the coming season:
This Christmas, most people will play as safe as the bookshop buyers and walk out with a Jeremy Clarkson or a Gordon Ramsay, happy in the knowledge it won’t be them who has to read it.