Winter Dreams pt. 4

Winter Dreams Pt. 4

By Asa Montreaux

When they sat down at the dining table, everything was placed except for the main course. Amory took a sip of wine, and before he finished it, he could see the maid servant bringing out the dinner. There were four plates on a tray, and she set it down near the edge of the table. 

She served the guests first, and then she served Richard and Rosemary next. They were a beautiful couple together. Nicole had no idea they were together, and it was for her own protection, because of her tendency to be mentally frail, that her connections in America kept the secret from her.

The truth seemed to be that Richard had fallen madly in love with Rosemary. She seemed to be everything Nicole was not. She was healthy, especially in mind. And she was youthful, and happy. Nicole had grown old, and she had become worried, and deceitful. Richard eventually realized he missed Rosemary so much, that it was making him feel pain. In his melancholy, he had lashed out verbally at his partner, for the first time. And his drinking had only made it worse. And she had imagined, quite frankly, that he was like her. Nicole could not see that the people around would not break down over time, especially doctors. They would have growth. Richard’s career as a doctor was only beginning. And in many ways, as a man of advice, and as a man of conversation, the legend was only beginning.

Amory immediately commented on the amazing quality of the meal. ‘This is exquisitely prepared, Richard. Where you had found such a recipe, it must have been the most exotic of sources.’

‘Why thank you, Amory.’

‘You’re welcome. So tell me, what does one make when they are selling books of ideas? I’m interested in hearing about that.’

‘Well, I suppose the truth is that it depends on the worth of the idea. You have to convince people at home that it is worth their time, and that it is going to change their life in some remarkable way. And you have to convince the scholars that their students need to read the book. That’s an important market. And the students will rebuy the books every year. You need to prepare more articles so over the years, each group of students can study the ideas in more depth. They have different requirements from reading than the average reader.’

‘Of, course.’ Amory thought about his books, and what that meant in Literature. Could he write analysis of his own books? Or if he got John Peale Bishop, his close friend, to write analysis for him, would that have the same effect that Richard was talking about? ‘You know, I have seen these books sometimes, but they don’t really announce the numbers. How much could you expect to make?’

‘I would say you could expect something similar to your genre. Anywhere from twenty-five thousand, to one hundred thousand dollars in up-front sales. After that, you may see some continued sales of one thousand dollars per year, or even two or three thousand, if you throw in the Colleges and Universities.’

Amory’s mind exploded with ideas for his books. If he could somehow get one thousand, or two thousand to buy his book every year, why… the possibilities were endless. The upfront money, that was enough for a mansion. But the problem was always having nothing left after. If he could have that, that would be enough for he and Genevra to live comfortably. And if he wrote another successful book, or two, then they would live forever in riches, and joy. ‘That’s outstanding, Richard.’ He decided to jump into it. And to make it all about himself. ‘Do you think anyone would ever be interested in literary analysis? If we analyzed my books like I was a classic writer, like Shakespeare?’

‘I think that would work. There is a large demand for literature. Many students take English courses, where they read analysis of Literature. If you could have your books accompanied by lots of analysis, available in separate essays, or books of essays, then that would encourage professors to use your books for their lectures.’

‘Why yes, this would work. Sometimes they study modern books. They love Pound and Hemingway. If I could convince them my work was as good, they would teach it. There are not that many modern writers that are already considered great.’

‘I agree. You wanted me to analyze your writing? I am already a reader, though I’m afraid I am only in psychological analysis right now.’

‘You, Richard? Why did I say that?’ Amory thought to himself about it. He had not meant to say that at all. But the possibility was so tantalizing. ‘Why I would love that. That would help so much. A man of your regard.’

‘Alright. You have my word.’

‘Richard Diver. A man of literary psychoanalysis now, as well. Wow. Fascinating.’



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