Not much time for blogging today as I spent a hot and mostly bothered day in Bologna conducting interviews with prospective primary school English teachers in a poorly air-conditioned room. I was practically reduced to a blob

The one highlight of this day in the city was a visit beforehand to Feltrinelli’s international bookshop where I was pleased to find that they have maintained a section devoted to McSweeney’s publications. I bought the May 2012 edition of The Believer and found this quote from a ‘microinterview with author Jonathan Lethem :

I dislike new books. It’s like drinking wine that’s not ready. When my first novel was published – Gun, With Occasional Music – I insisted the jacket be made to look like it was old. The gimmick was that it was going to look like a pulp paperback, even though it was a brand new hardcover. I wanted to be a writer like Philip K. Dick or Charles Willeford, or some others I revered who’d been published only in these disreputable, ephemeral ways, and who you could find only in used-book stores. I wanted to be out of print even before I was in print”

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