Gastbeitrag in englischer Sprache: Jamie Byng – Fair and Loathing

 Jamie Byng Jamie Byng ist nicht nur ein bemerkenswerter Mann mit einer unglaublichen Sprachgewandtheit sondern auch mit einem ausgeprägten Geschäftssinn. So kaufte er bereits 1994 als 26 Jahre alter Praktikant den schottischen Verlag Canongate. Mit seinem britisch-exzentrischem Charme ist er nun ab heute auf der Frankfurter Buchmesse 2009 und gibt sich als Gastautor im Messeblog der FAZ die Ehre und buecher.de ist mit von der Partie…

I can’t believe I have agreed to this. I even said to my commissioning editor Thomas that I was going to regret agreeing to this before I had agreed. And he did what all commissioning editors do – sweet-talked me with silver-tongue, flattered me into thinking I had something to say – „I am convinced that your blog is going to be a highlight of each of the paper’s issues“. For chrissake!! On what grounds? On a good day I’m no writer. On a bad day I have difficulty reading, let alone stringing 500 words together. Or 3000 keys as I have been asked to calculate my output. Already the mind boggles! The shoe is normally on the other foot. I once persuaded Margaret Atwood to take part in a series in which we invited writers to retell myths in any way they felt inspired. She agreed because „I jumped out at her from behind a gorse-bush early one morning in Edinburgh, verbally accosted her with the idea and before she was armed with caffeine.“

So why did I agree to do this? It certainly wasn’t for the money. It is true that I was flattered by Thomas‘ entreaties and for a moment kidded myself that I could offer some witty and original insights into what it is like being part of this all-consuming vortex that spits you out the other side, spent and beyond words, a pale shadow of your former self. And then there was the obvious opportunity to promote books Canongate is publishing or trying sell rights in. Settling the odd score and spreading some salacious gossip also held some appeal (and still does). Only 500 words a day? Pah. This will be a cake walk.

But as the reality sank in, I realised that this whole thing was a really bad idea. And then I realised why deepdown I had agreed to do this. This year will be my 15th Frankfurt. I turned 40 in June at which point I decided to stop smoking. And I could see this Frankfurt going two very different ways: the hedonistic, sleep deprived, exhausting (and exhilarating route that I have a bad habit of going down. Or the more civilised, equally enjoyable, more constructive
and mellow path that I rarely take, certainly never at Frankfurt (it’s a pun not lost on many that we go to the Buchmesse each day). Writing this blog should help provide a rod for my weak back.

Lesen Sie den Blog von Jamie Byng unter www.faz.net/byng

Bildquellen: http://i.telegraph.co.uk ,


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  1. […] folgt der 2. Teil des englischen Gastautors Jamie Byng. Sollten Sie den ersten Teil verpasst haben: Teil 1 “Basically I am an optimist because the great myth of the person who tells another person a […]

    16.10.2009
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