A really good read.
Life in the house of Eliot
The peerless publisher Faber and Faber is 75. Christina Patterson
traces the history of a glittering institution whose stable of authors
reads like a Who's Who of modern literature
14 September 2004
In 1929, the Gwyers pulled out and the firm was renamed Faber and
Faber. There was, in fact, no second Faber, but Walter de la Mare
(father of Richard, one of the original directors) suggested that,
"you can't have too much of a good thing".
Faber's more memorable titles have included 'Goat Husbandry', and
'Harnessing the Earthworm.'
'TS Eliot as a Publisher' offers a more detailed record [of jokes.]
Its author, FV Morley, one of the original directors of the firm,
remembers the "private zoological names" they had for one another,
"the cigarettes which somehow produced snow storms" and the coal
scuttle filled with giant firecrackers.
The jokes that were such a feature of Faber's early days continued in
its new offices in Queen Square. ... one [was a letter] to Robert
McCrum explaining that Pete Townshend was moving into his office. When
he got back from holiday it was full of rock paraphernalia, smashed-up
guitars and lines of coke. Townshend had indeed been brought in as a
consultant editor - in what Evans calls "a brilliant flash we didn't
follow through" - but McCrum's office remained his own.
Andrew Motion tells me about the launch party for High Windows. In his
speech, Larkin said that he now understood Eliot's dedication to Pound
in The Waste Land: "il miglior fabbro". Larkin offered a new
translation: "It's better with Faber," he said.
An exhibition of 75 years of Faber and Faber design is at the Lethaby
Gallery, Central Saint Martins College, London WC1, from 13-24
September (020-7514 7000; www.csm.linst.ac.uk)