At breakfast this morning my wife put forward another possibility regarding the strange appearance of Eva Holubk’s poetry collection in Fiji. ‘Perhaps it was the result of some sea-bound active reading,’ she said, chewing a triangle of mildly burnt toast. ‘An actively reading wind-surfer, maybe, or careless bi-plane pilot. Better still, a deep-sea diver.’
Better still, indeed. There is nothing in the world I would like to see more of than deep-sea reading – and suffice it to say that I would be marvellously proud to know that my publishing house were responsible for the book chosen for this noble task. The only problem is how this book might have got into the hands of such an active reader in the first place. We must remember that, since the initial print-run was stolen, Holubk’s The Marmalade Jar has never been available on the open market – and I have yet to hear of a burgeoning black-market demand for her work. Although we cannot completly reject the notion that the thief – her ex-husband – has been quietly selling them off, the fact remains that one of his motives for stealing them in the first place was the presumption that they contained material he found offensive.
And yet his efforts to suppress this content seem to have foundered. Two copies have since emerged – and I would be greatly surprised if there isn’t more to come. In fact, I have already heard rumours of a book resembling The Marmalade Jar being seen on the bedroom bookshelf of a leading Italian politician.
More on this when there is more.