Many years ago, Clive James wrote a poem expressing his joy at realizing a fellow author’s book wasn’t selling. (Schadenfreude, anyone?)  If you haven’t read it, you should, for it’s quite rightly one of his most liked, and well known poems.

Here’s the first verse:

The Book of my enemy has been remaindered
And I am pleased.
In vast quantities it has been remaindered.
Like a van-load of counterfeit that has been seized
And sits in piles in a police warehouse,
My enemy’s much-praised efforts sits in piles
In the kind of bookshop where remaindering occurs.
Great, square stacks of rejected books and, between them, aisles
One passes down reflecting on life’s vanities,
Pausing to remember all those thoughtful reviews
Lavished to no avail upone one’s enemy’s book –
For behold, here is that book
Among these ranks and banks of duds,
These ponderous and seemingly irreducible cairns
Of complete stiffs.

Now go over to Clive James’s site and enjoy the rest of the poem.

The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered

 

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