Thursday, 10 December 2009

2009: The Celebrities

Don't you feel sorry for the books that don't make it onto the "best of" lists? I always imagine writers scanning list after list for their names and descending into depression when they don't find them. But then I also used to feel sorry for peas left over on my plate when I ate the fish fingers first as a child. So rather than a list of best books of the year, I proudly present the top three famous literary celebrities I met this year and the earth-shattering things I said to them. Read it and weep, mere mortals.

1. Denis Scheck, über-critic: "But translators say 'du' to each other!"

2. Ilja Trojanow, writer: "Excuse me, my colleague wants to ask you something..."

3. Günter Grass, Nobel prizewinner: "I thought it was good that the translators got to read for a long time. Especially Danish."

Update: If you said something deep and meaningful to a literary celebrity this year (or in fact any year), do post in the comments. Isabo has made a fine start.


isabo said...

"Haven't we met before? Your face seems familiar."
"I don't think so. I'm Tilman."
Rammstedt, that was. And as he was with Thomas Pletzinger, next thing I said was:
"Oh my God, I adore you both."

isabo said...

Oh, and Denis Scheck got a "Das ist doch Quatsch" from me.

Sandy said...

I said to Sarah Waters 'I love your books! And you got me into reading Wilkie Collins'. Then she recommended a Wilkie Collins book I hadn't read.

B. said...

"Could you sign right here?" was the most original thing I could think of saying to John Banville when he signed copies of Die See at a reading in Berlin a few years ago, after I had edited the translation of his first crime novel. At least I didn't say, "Hey, guess who I am! I found the mistake you made about the Porsche model in Christine Falls!"

Harvey Morrell said...

After a conversation with Arnost Lustig , he said to me [insert Czech accent here], "You know, you have soul of women."

Me: "Is that a good thing?"