PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Next Issue Alberto Manguel Selbstgefühl New poems by Fleur Adcock, Claudine Toutoungi and Tuesday Shannon James Campbell A Walk through the Times Literary Supplement
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This report is taken from PN Review 28, Volume 9 Number 2, November - December 1982.

Letter from Paris Stephen Romer
April 1982

For the last six days of March, the glass and iron dome of the Grand Palais was 'resonant with tribute and with commerce'. More than 130,000 visitors came to the second annual Salon du Livre, some to pay tribute to the living, others to search for the long-lost dead. 750 francophone and smiling publishers presided over both and ensured that commerce was brisk. Among the living were the seven hundred authors who agreed to sign their writing hands away, for an allotted number of hours, before adoring crowds. As it turned out, the ordeal for many of them was slight -embarrassingly so. The genial rotundity of the novelist Hervé Bazin, for example, looked rather punctured. Faithful to his post, pen poised, the poor man seemed to be suffering from neglect. . . . The real stars of the Salon were those authors rescued from the cavernous warehouses of the major publishers, nearly all of them too distinguished to be consigned to the final ignominy of the pilon, or pulper. Taken together, these authors constitute the extraordinarily rich fonds littéraires. Leaving aside, for the moment, the enormous resources of Gallimard, a publisher like Grasset displayed such muscle as Malraux, Mauriac, Montherlant, Giraudoux, Giono and Radiguet. And it made the living look decidedly frail.

Opened by the President himself, flanked by Messieurs Defferre and Lang, the Salon provided the opportunity for quite an orgy of political self-congratulation. During the six days, le Monde ran a series of ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image