Sunday, 2 November 2014

$iegfried $a$$oon

Brian, I've been thinking about your point, that Rohmer said the only reason to write a book was to create a be$t $eller and then released this awful $lim volume of ver$e that no human being would ever voluntarily purcha$e.

Rohmer didn’t just chase sales by writing airport thrillers; we’ve found that he was also a master -- in a small-scale way -- of leveraging his name, to create plain old $eller$.  Brand-extenders, things like biographies and that Flight 007 book -- that wouldn't have $old at all without his increasing their value by branding them, like Humvee making a wrist watch, or fruit juice from V8. 

Or Separation 2.

So why did he use a pseudonym on this garbage?  The only imaginable way the publisher could have made their money back would have been by trading on the name.  And he denies them even that.  The work must stand on its own.  How did this happen? 

Can we even talk about this without considering Rohmer’s role – described in Generally Speaking -- as Canadian publishing’s bureaucratic sugar daddy?

What kind of twisted act of submission and dominance was Rohmer orchestrating by asking a small press to release this crap? For no one?

What was the advance? 

Did he make someone from the small press crawl across the floor towards him with the check in their teeth?

I wish the autobiography had talked about this transaction.  I guess we'll have to go to York and look at the papers.

1 comment:

  1. Chris, a few thoughts may follow, but I'm having trouble getting past Richard Rohmer's papers being at York. Why there? Isn't York filled with Communists? It is in Red Arctic. It is in Linda Frum's Guide to Canadian Universities. Why not the University of Windsor, where he twice served as Chancellor?

    Rohmer's explanation is just plain strange: “York has a well-administered, progressive, welcoming archival program and it is my law alma mater.” His law alma mater? Rohmer was called to the Bar in 1951, eight years before York first opened its doors. In Generally Speaking, the only mention of the institution comes when talking about his friend Peter Cory: "he went on to be an outstanding judge, a member of the Supreme Court of Canada, a Companion of the Order of Canada, and Chancellor of York University in 2004."

    Current Chancellor? Peter Cory.