Friday, November 27, 2015


Something Must Go

Donald Richie, journal (June 27, 1993):
I look at my bookcases. Bulging. Something must go. But what? I look more closely. The shelves are lined with those I love. There is Morandi, all the books I have been able to find on him, almost one solid foot of them—his small, still, perfect world of bottles and paint. No I will not let him go. There is Jean Cocteau, sometimes irritating but always fresh, new, irrepressible. So full of himself that he makes you full of him. I have over two feet of him. I could let part of him go, but never the novels. No, I will keep him. Ah, there is Madame Yourcenar. Everything she wrote. Sententious, wise, a bit ponderous, but always honest. How could I ever let Memoirs d'Hadrien go? Or the woman who wrote it. No, she stays. Borges, all of him in English. My companion for years now. Am I not tired of him? In a way—his donnishness tires. But to throw out Labyrinths—and the man who wrote it? Never. Jane Austen? Of course not. She is part of me. What to do, then? Well, Shakespeare, whom I really do not much like. But it is only one volume and tossing him out would not save much space.

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