Monday, October 19, 2009

"Publishers all occupy skyscraper penthouses, or 'random houses,' and although I was never actually in one of them, I can see them as clearly as if I had been. The publishers dictate ideas for novels to the writers, supplying them with titles and, in some instances, writing the books themselves. The American custom of seducing one's best friend's wife, and later killing oneself while on a 'spree,' out of fear that one is actually in love with one's best friend, is the basic theme most recently insisted upon by the publishers."

— James Thurber, "The American Literary Scene" (1949) in Thurber Country, 193