I've just been told that Picador plans to produce bound proofs of Little Monsters, rather than page proofs. I'm one step nearer to seeing the book as, well, a book. This means I'll be able to wrap my single copy of the jacket around the novel it's intended for, rather than other books that have more or less the same dimensions. In Italy, I've been using my Collected Poems of Cavafy. Here, in England, where I'm watching, among other things, X Factor with my mother, it's a 41-year-old biography of Van Gogh entitled the The Man Who Loved the Sun. It's hard not to read some meaning into this. Tomorrow I'll be with Jane in London and I'll have to see what she has on her shelves that fits so that we can admire the jacket's clean lines and singing colours and overall disquieting quality (everyone tells me; I'm delighted) as they should be admired. Unconditionally.
I'm getting excited and nervous. I've spent the last few days reading book reviews and literary articles of one sort or another in the UK press, performing a similar operation to that of wrapping a jacket around someone else's book, i.e. replacing the author's name with mine to see how it feels.