The most interesting reaction to my telling everybody about Dadaoism (An Anthology) in which I’ve a short story was Bill Goldman’s. I came across him in Waitrose. His reaction was of one feeling he was being put down and having of necessity to put himself up by putting the other down or at least by some means to get out of the implied imposition he should buy the book. He asked how much it cost and, on being told, said it was too much. Why should he buy it? I wouldn’t buy his. His doctoral thesis was on William Blake’s poems or mysticism in general which had to be shortened to book length for publication by someone other than Bill who couldn’t while yet recommending himself as an English tutor. “At least you got your doctorate out of it,” I sympathised ingenuously. Retrospectively, ingenuousness works better than disingenuousness in response to somebody keen to put you down.

Since he was academic, I went on, “You might be more interested in the book, coming out shortly, I made from an archived correspondence with a literary figure.” “Why did the publisher want to publish it?” I offered that I’d contrived to possess both sides of the correspondence if not, of course, entirely. “Why did the publisher want to publish it! You’re not famous!” That it might be good didn’t enter in. “I don’t know. You’d have to ask her. She said she might as well publish it and I said ok.”

But the killer was when I went onto my verse translatons of Baudelaire, coming out shortly in a magazine. Bill couldn’t wait to get away, saying I should email him them and the short story. I didn’t value his opinion and wasn’t about to give him gratuitously grounds for a cheap comeback at my expense I could do little to rebut, so I disingenuously emailed him the links to the book on Amazon and to a review of it I thought mentioned me. He replied the review didn’t. I got the review that did and sent him that:, coup de grace.


About johnbrucecairns

I'm a retired history teacher who's written for most of his life with a book readied for publication.
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