'How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare that after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book! — When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.' No one made any reply. She then yawned again, threw aside her book, and cast her eyes round the room in quest of some amusement. — from Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen (1775-1817)
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February 7, 2015

No, really. This is really happening.




I often think I reach for books that no one else would {so thank goodness for you, gentle fellow readers!} and that probably means I'd watch movies that no one else would.  So I literally, actually did a double take when I read in Shiny New Books no. 4 that a movie {whoa...} was being made from A. Scott Berg's book Maxwell Perkins, Editor of Genius, and that Colin Firth {gasp... } was starring in it. And Jude  Law. Colin Firth and Jude Law. In a movie based on Maxwell Perkins, Editor of Genius. No, really.

I bought (and read) this book when I was a junior in college, a year or so after it was published, and it's still on my shelf, 35 years later. Here's the first part of the book jacket copy:

Maxwell Perkins — surely no one in American literature remains so important yet so unknown. As the man who discovered an astounding number of major talents — Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe {Jude Law's role}, and many others — he changed our culture. His very name is synonymous with the word 'editor'; his dedication to his authors and their books is legendary. But although the lives of his celebrated writers became public, Perkins himself stayed in the background, avoiding attention. Few knew this complex and mysterious man.

Apparently I was falling for literary biographies, even then. I'm not sure what first drew me to this book, but I do know why it has stayed with me for so long:  A. Scott Berg wrote his senior thesis on Maxwell Perkins when he was an undergraduate at Princeton and published this book seven years later.  I would have been thinking about writing my own senior thesis when I bought this {it wasn't required, and I eventually decided not to, though I wish I had.}  He worked on something in college and became a biographer. If anyone ever asked me what work I would have wanted, if I could have chosen anything, it would have been that.

Still, of all the books on my shelves, I would have thought it one of the most unlikeliest to be turned into a movie. What would stun and delight you if you heard it was being made into a film?


2 comments:

Karen K. said...

Is that Jude Law in the photo with Colin Firth? I hardly recognized him.

Of course, I would pretty much watch Colin Firth reading a phone book on film or TV. And there are period costumes! I'm in.

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

Isnt that funny? I have been surprised by some books that have become movies too while there are others that I think would make for excellent movies! Why dot hey not ask me? LOL

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