Monday, January 7, 2013

the last book I ever read (Salman Rushdie's Joseph Anton, excerpt ten)

from Joseph Anton: A Memoir by Salman Rushdie:

He had asked Pauline to bring out a few things for him as well but several of them were missing. All his old photograph albums, five of them, in which his entire life before Marianne was contained, were gone. So was his personal copy, copy number one, of the limited edition of twelve numbered and signed copies of The Satanic Verses. (Later, Rick Gekoski, an American antiquarian bookseller based in London, sold him Ted Hughes’s copy of this limited edition, copy number eleven. It cost him £2,200 to buy this copy of his own book.) Nobody had keys to the house except Pauline, Sameen, and Marianne. Two years later the journalist Philip Weiss wrote a profile of him in Esquire that was shockingly unpleasant about him and pretty nice about Marianne. At least one of the illustrations had clearly come from the missing photograph albums. Under pressure from Andrew Esquire admitted that the photograph had been supplied by Marianne. She claimed it had been given to her as a gift. Around the same time a “final typescript” of The Satanic Verses, almost missing from his study at St. Peter’s Street, was being offered to dealers for sale. Rick Gekoski told him that Marianne was saying that this, too, had been a “gift,” and had eventually withdrawn the text from the market, unhappy about the prices she was being given. It was the wrong copy; the most valuable manuscript, the “working” text covered in his handwritten annotations and corrections, remained in his possession. The photograph albums were never found or returned.

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