Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized…

Thanks to Neil Gaiman’s blog today, I found this hilarious psalmic poem written in the voice of a grudging author.  This is the first stanza; read the whole thing here at the Writer’s Almanac site, and for extra fun, listen to Garrison Keillor read it in that delightfully rich voice (with all its tones of ironic pomposity).

The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered

by Clive James

The book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am pleased.
In vast quantities it has been remaindered.
Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized
And sits in piles in a police warehouse,
My enemy’s much-praised effort sits in piles
In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs.
Great, square stacks of rejected books and, between them, aisles
One passes down reflecting on life’s vanities,
Pausing to remember all those thoughtful reviews
Lavished to no avail upon one’s enemy’s book—
For behold, here is that book
Among these ranks and the banks of duds, 
These ponderous and seemingly irreducible cairns
Of complete stiffs.


One thought on “Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized…

  1. So mean! And so fantastic.

    “Soon now a book of mine could be remaindered also,
    Though not to the monumental extent
    In which the chastisement of remaindering has been meted out
    To the book of my enemy,
    Since in the case of my own book it will be due
    To a miscalculated print run, a marketing error—
    Nothing to do with merit.”

    Of course. 😀

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