Tuesday, September 26, 2006

"A personal library is an X-ray of the owner's soul."

Longtime readers can probably guess how much I enjoyed this Chronicle of Higher Education article.
I remember being shocked, for example, by how few books Graham Greene had in his home in Antibes. It was, of course, an apartment, not a big house, that Greene occupied. And he was by nature peripatetic, shifting among countries, even continents, right to the end of his life. It was, he told me, an inconvenience to own a lot of books, as they're heavy in one's bag. So he kept only those authors who really mattered to him: Henry James, Joseph Conrad, and, to my surprise, the 19th-century naval hero and prolific novelist Capt. Frederick Marryat. "Now Marryat," Greene said to me, "there is a writer!"
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