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Monday, June 06, 2005


Quite apart from the cumbersome nomenclature - and, hey, no one ever accused us of slowing down for mere beauty on the page - I love the youthful vanity and sheer self-absorption of fêting some indeterminate in-crowd.

For starters, this sort of preen-power is perfect for pissing off rivals and generally shoring up one's own cliquish narcissism.

I ran this sort of indulgence back in my bookish days when I realised that a bunch of us publicity hack lordistas seemed to be meeting on a regular basis to sample fine wines over which to swap scurrilous gossip and discuss the merits of the latest hot interns around the houses.

Sure enough, once the myth grew that our little cabal was carving up the book pr territory, others sprang up by way of token competition.

Had we been operating today, you'd be looking at

  • Book Braggarts - Official website
  • Book Braggadocio - Home page
  • Palimpsest PR Anonymous - By Appointment
  • And so forth
  • As word got round, we'd have infiltrators dropping into the French and sidling up for an eavesdrop.

    One evening, a bunch of us did a Man Who Never Was number and carelessly left a sheaf of notes detailing which literary editors and major booksellers were to be entertained to which degree of generosity to clinch what degree of exposure for forthcoming blockbusters.

    I've no idea what if anything happened, but these were the least corruptible of the lit eds - David Holloway of the Telegraph, Terry Kilmartin of the Observer, Tony Hern of the Evening Standard - but I like to think that some mole snuck back to his boss with the schedule and had them call these bastions of honesty.

    The reaction to such accusations would have been enough to guarantee time out for those CEOs foolish enough to confront the gents and pretty much exactly what we'd been pretending in the memo.

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