dimanche 30 octobre 2011
Edith Wharton, HUDSON RIVER BRACKETED, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929, 536 pages.
But Tarrant [Halo's husband and Vance's publisher] wanted to do more. He understood that Weston was just married, and he knew that when a man takes on domestic responsibilities there's nothing like a steady job, even a small one, for making his mind easy. The Hour therefore proposed to let Vance try his hand at a monthly article on current literary events. They'd find a racy title, and let him have full swing - no editorial interference if the first articles took. A fresh eye and personal views were what they were after - none of the old mumified traditions. And for those twelve articles they would guarantee him a salary of fifteen hundred a year for three years, without prejudice to what he earned by his fiction: say a hundred and fifty for the next two stories after "Unclaimed," and double that for the following year, if he would guarantee three stories a year, or possibly four. Only, of course, he was to pledge himself not to write for any other paper or publisher - no other publisher, because The Hour's solicitude included an arrangement for book publication with their own publishers, Dreck and Saltzer. Tarrant had gone into all that so that Weston should be able to get to work at once, free from business worries. He'd had some difficulty in getting a publisher to look at it that way and sign for three years, but he'd fought it out with them, and as Dreck and Saltzer were great believers in The Hour they'd finally agreed, and had the contract ready. "So now all you'll have to do is to lie back and turn out masterpieces," Rauch cheerfully concluded, lighting a final cigarette.