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.