Monday, March 21, 2011

Literary Relics

If I had gobs of money just lying around, and a slightly more seared conscience, I could be easily sucked into the world of literary collecting, ardently acquiring the secularized equivalent of relics. I could see my home office becoming a kind of reliquary, lined with first editions and decorated with all sorts of artifacts--say hand-written manuscript from Ted Hughes, quirky photographs of Evelyn Waugh, used pipes from P.G. Wodehouse or maybe one of Elizabeth Bishop's fountain pen, perhaps a portrait of Oscar Wilde or George Sand. It would be a delight to work in such a Wunderzimmer, absorbing the aura of writers gone before

In other words, I would be like a kid in a candy shop if I could be part of the Bonham's auction of the Roy Davids Collection of Papers and Portraits--a veritable who's who of British and American letters from the Victorian era up to the mid-20th century. I'll have to settle for window shopping.