How/Not How

November 14th, 2010

“Henry,” I hear you whispering in my ear, “are you aware that another person besides you has just published a book called ‘How to Live,” and that it, being a life of the French philosopher Montaigne by someone named Sarah Bakewell, is receiving laudatory reviews from precisely the same venues that your own ‘How to Live’ did, and that, in bearing the same name as your own tome, is likely ultimately to drain some of your profit margin when addled Alford fans land on the wrong Amazon page, thus occasioning a slightly sparser showing at the base of the family Christmas tree come December?”

“No,” I would respond. “No, I hadn’t heard that.”