Monday, September 8, 2014

Waiting for books in transit

Somewhere outside of New York two boxes of books sit on a truck, or in an airplane hold, in transit.  Perhaps they are at the bottom of a stack of other boxes, pressed down upon, suffocating. Or maybe they rest happily at the top, or somewhere indifferently in between. Maybe they have been tossed recklessly into a dark musty storage container and lie askew. Possibly they have already separated, and are following their own trajectories....

The contents of these boxes is this book whose cover is shown above, the Brad Pitt book, over ten years in the making, a weird and wild assemblage of essays on the actor and celebrity. It's either a field-changing, definitive study of a most popular figure...or it's simply another edited collection by obsessed and arguably deranged academics. Or else it is something else entirely. It might be all three of these things.

My editor in New York emailed me the other day to say she'd seen it, held it, and that it came out great—and here I wait, practically holding my breath, for the box to arrive. Waiting to hold it in my hands, to flip its pages and see what sort of beast it is that I'm at least partially responsible for creating.

I recently wrote a small piece on the book for the site Everyday Analysis, and my co-editor Robert Bennett composed a post for the Bloomsbury Film & Media Studies blog. These are two takes on the project now that we've been away from it for a few months. Still, you'll see that it left its marks on us.

Now there's nothing more to do but wait. We must wait, wait for them to be trundled across the country, a box to New Orleans and a box to Bozeman, Montana. And then, when they arrive, what then?