16 December 2011


The very sad passing of a much-needed thorn in many eminently thornable sides.

And that's the photo that conjures up the Hitch I remember from my booksy days when I brushed the garment hems of the Lords of the London Lit Universe: Amis, Fenton, McEwen, et al.

I used to mewl and mow whenever Martin Amis breezed into my ken but to no effect. Then Alison Press came out with Bellow's Humboldt's Gift and we had him over to do that show by Melvyn Bragg (another of our authors; jobs for the boys) and that's when I found out that Amis was a huuge fan and was dead keen to interview him - prolly for the New Statesman.

As it turned out, they must have met before because when I put it to Saul as a bit of a coup he wrinkled his nose and refused.

But it came off - as did other big-beast interviews with authors under my hackery - and those were the times when everyone was terribly nice to me.

Hitch was always civil to me and I'd send him my catalogues and speed along anything he fancied without any nonsense about where or when or even if he might give it ink. He invariably sent hand-written thanks on the smuttiest poastcard he could find. They were of such a high standard I suspect he bought them where and whenever he saw them and kept them ready in reserve.

In memoriam ~ Vanity Fair

No comments :