tv After Words CSPAN August 23, 2016 12:27am-1:26am EDT
i'm pick confident nobody else is going to do it. i hate competition. the devil and the white city was a very much organic process. to me it's very much looking for a spouse. you women know this better than the man, you have to kiss a lot of frogs. before one kisses pack in a not creepy way. you know what i mean. i have three daughters, you know what i mean. >> host: are you right now in the dark country of no idea? >> guest: thank you, yes. >> host: how's that working for you? one last question over there and then here. >> i can't help but connect to this last week the german wing
that went down is very similar situation. so sad and yet as may be consumers have to look at it with a critical eye. and how better to learn than someone who has practiced historical method in a lively way. just from your perspective, how did writing dead wake impact way that events happen in the newspaper this week? >> guest: that's an interesting question. it has a vague way shaped how i came to the whole shocking story of visit german wing flight. i would be hard to quantify exactly but i can tell you that i am it deeply paranoid flyer. i
hate to fly and i hate to fly on the little regional jets. that story of that flight has haunted me this week. having to fly from place to place all week i don't want to talk about it. [laughter] such a horrible story. and it got worse today with the news about the guy that his shrinker somebody had sent him a letter, some medical medical saying that he was unfit to work. and then he gets on the plane and that's what happens. it's for. >> host: to think you're paranoid about flying is about control or? laughmac. [laughter] what you think it is? >> guest: is this a shrink session? [laughter] is this like doctor phil? >> it is, it's just like that.
saying that. it's what that's what i work hat structuring in my book and spent a lot of time trying to make sure while i don't fictionalize anything, i used the technique in the foreshadowing withholdi withholding, that kind of thing to keep the reader interested and the story moving along. if i had to attribute learning to one of the most powerful things that influences reading the people i've read tend to be those that emphasize clean the spare prose and that would be hemingway. maybe he's kind of a jerk.
i don't know although the depiction was lovely. for hemingway's short stories, the collection of time are good examples of the pros and the art of not saying. one of the best short stories i don't know how many of you heard about by the time it's done you know what's going on. he never tells you directly you've just come to it. so these are my influences but
at a practical level it was my experience i worked for quite a bit of "the wall street journal" at the time it was emphasized and they didn't want people doing business they figured you could learn business so i' so id these things. it was an exercise overtime trying to get as much in a compelling way to the absolute minimum of what you need to get the story across otherwise i have to say it's just evolutionary but thank you for coming. thank you all. [applause]
booktv visited capitol hill to ask members of congress what they are reading this summer. >> i'm in multiple theater theai read a lot of books at the same time. sometimes i will finish a book in one sitting but more often than nothen not i agreed differt parts of a book. one book i finished reading a short time ago is it that i understand you did a segment on the millionaire and the bar. i am a big shakespeare fan. when i saw this book i immediately picked it up. it's a terrific book about a soldier who went on a spree to buy shakespeare's folios and
amassed a huge collection of not just the folios but enough material he created a library that ended up in washington, d.c.. but i also am reading the righteous mind it's about how we can communicate in a more effective way. if you can imagine an elephant making all the decisions go left, right, back, forward the writer explains the elephant is giving it a lot of times you talk to the writer who isn't making the decisions when we ought to be talking to the elephant so it's a good way to remember you should be talking to the elephant making the decisions and not the person explaining the decisions and i think in the time of the political situation arena it's important we keep in mind who
the heck we ought to be talking to. so it's a book that i'm rereading. i am also reading a book that was in the national gallery called the accidental masterpiece and it's how you see art. to me because i'm a great lover of art you can see beauty in art and everyday objects everywhere you look at this is also another interesting book i just picked up. as you can see by my office i like color and over and i also do my own art. i do ceramics although i keep my day job. reading is foundational. i wasn't born in this country, english isn't my first language and i credit a librarian when i was in elementary school through the weekend my love of reading and i still remember the books
she read into the cadre of little kids would sit at her feet in the library and she would greet us mary poppins and that brought out a love of reading for m me the choice is foundational. i think to be a good writer you should be a reader and a pretty voracious reader. >> is there anything else you are reading this summer? >> i picked up each is for hawk. i also read ne new yorker come violations of short stories i have on my ipad. those are things i can read when i have time. i have a number of those kind of books on my ipad. the other thing i could mention though is when you think about the books that change your way
of thinking, there's one book that did that for me and co. virginia was a book by betty ferdinand. a light bulb went off for me when i read th that book and i decided maybe my wife wouldn't consist of getting married and having children and living that kind of life they should be thinking about taking care of myself and expanding my own horizons. that is one book that totally changed my way of thinking about myself
questions from viewers on phone, e-mail and social media the first sunday of every month at noon eastern. it's a one-on-one conversation between the author of a nonfiction book and the interviewer who's a journalist from a public policymaker or legislator familiar with the opposing viewpoint. "after words" airs every saturday at 10 p.m. eastern and we will take you across the country visiting book festivals, events and parties where all this talk about the latest wor works.
>> host: will come. so good to talk about your fantastic book i enjoyed thoroughly. i found it a page turner and a read eminently accessible. congratulations. >> coming from you that is high praise indeed. >> we will talk about the subtitle but it might be helpful to talk about them in the context of their time if i may they were both alike in dignity to quote from shakespeare and get separated by 400 years in the atlantic ocean but they shared one thing, a passion for writing and collecting. >> guest: shakespeare was writing around the 16 hundreds.
his life was 20 years before, 20 years after. during the reign of elizabeth and james the first was a playwright poet and he was also a businessman shareholder in a theater company in london and a landowner and very well known in his time for being a playwright and businessman. henry was the chair of the largest company in the world and most reviled during the gilded age. shakespeare wrote these plays and seven years after he died, two of his friends decided to create a memorial volume and collected all of the sources
they had available and published 36 of the 38 known plays that he had written. they are connect across time and the ocean and this book saved half of the plays from his obscurity became a nun object for collectors and the chairman of the legal company wanted to own every known copy of the first folio. as a sacred term in that way but ithat it was mark twain who claimed the term and he was anything but complementary about those that were in the gilded age. >> he was quite perturbed about it. as part of ththis part of the nh needed to display their wealth they built these magnificent mansions in new york and they had often tedious collections on
the books as well. they threw cash around europe and then brought them back to the state. henry was quite different than most of the gilded age characters that we know of, j.p. morgan, henry huntington and the like. he was quiet and unassuming, came from quiet means that most of all he never though felt hima manchin until he retired from standard oil, he lived a very modest life and he keeps a grip his passion for collecting. >> host: he could have spent the weego to adifferent house it spend so much money on the manuscripts. >> guest: undoubtably true but he displayed some of the artwork
in his home but most of the work he collected, books, manuscripts, musical scores and instruments,instruments, costums and on and on he looked at and studied and then when the house was full to the brim he would take them down to the basement and friendship box off to a warehouse. i looked at receipts for storage for 30 years for some of the rooms he rented so one by one he would fill up these rooms with his treasures and mak and makins about which boxes were in which rooms and over 30 years of accumulated room after room after room. >> host: there is a tv show called hoarders. it probably wasn't an element to that but -- >> guest: if you are a person
that is obsessed with collecting recyclable bottles or contemporary newspapers or magazines and you stack them in the house and you can't walk through your house you might say you have some kind of a borderline personality or if it interferes with your normal living, he certainly acquired things on the same scale. they were valuable and interesting so we don't call him a porter. >> host: not a box of kentucky fried chicken from ten years ago. you have a collector as well, your husband. not to talk about james swanson, a well-known author and collector of other memorabilia tax >> guest: a bit of a collector is an understatement. you are being kind to him. part of my research was informed by the fac the fact that this wa collector and he's been collecting objects to
manuscripts, books related to linking since he was 10-years-old. he has an enormous collection i haven't seen the full extent of because like henry, james has had to put money in storage because there is no room for them. he has storage facilities in more than one state. >> host: he's also the author of a number of books that particularly one of my favorites the hunt for john wilkes booth after the lincoln assassination. let's go back in time further than that the first folio. can you talk about that is, it's a phrase many viewers may not be familiar with. and the two men you referred to earlier.
>> guest: it refers to the size of the book, very large, 13 by eight approximately. >> host: said the old-time magazine size. >> guest: that's correct. the closer to about half the size of a folio. what made it interesting is that conveyed something of a gravitas and prayer to this, but size had been assigned to political or religious tracts, not fiction, literature and plays that were not regarded as literature they were regarded as amusement for the masses. the first folio was a memorial volume that two of his friends,
john hemmings put together as a tribute to their deceased friend. >> host: when did he pass away? >> guest: 1616 and the first folio was 1623 so the idea probably percolated about five years after his death at which time only half of his plays have been published so there remained half that wouldn't have been known to history had they not said what put these together in one volume and save the posterity. many of the manuscripts possibly even the only copies of the manuscripts had gone up in flames at the theater. >> host: imagine what the world would have had had that not happened. it was interesting and reminiscent of some tragedies we
have had in contemporary ameri america. >> guest: it was trying to attract patrons to ~ 1500 people, enormous structure. one of the ways they attracted patrons as they added special effects. one had the idea of what's use a real camera canon. i think it was upon the arrival of henry viii. they announced with a cannon shot into some of that floated up to the roof and it caught fire and burned to the ground in two hours.
the great fire of london is several years later in 1766 but at that time the government had enough and they now fly at -- outpolled until the new globe restoration is complete. >> host: presumably coated with fireproof -- >> guest: yes. >> host: the first folio required them to get permission. once an author creates something, he or she owns the rights to that end the estate would then get that value. shakespeare either licensed or sold the works to other people? >> there wasn't copyright in great britain until 1709 long after this sort o slip away plae paid for is theater companies bought them out right.
they would have paid for the play and then have the right to perform or publish. >> host: and they could have sold it. >> guest: exclusivel exclusively did is hold them very closely. this is a single copy under lock and key at the theater where someone who's in charge of the manuscripts because they feared other theater companies would get copies and take to other cities can perform the plays and not even any royalties so they figured we have the right to hamlet. we want the only copy. we don't want others performing. >> host: i know from the shakespeare in love movie that contained some historical accuracies there is an ounce rising to the level of a swordplay perhaps that was
exaggerated in the film that we know although it was popular entertainment that was extreme rivalry. >> guest: there was competition among the theater company. company. by the end of his career he retires back and by that time the only two main theater companies left in london and the parapart of the reason to do res back to the puritans prohibiting the production of plays. they didn't literally shut the theaters down but that is also demonstrated in shakespeare in love the master of the rebels shuts the theater down. later the puritans would say that the plays were an abomination against god pretending to be something you've learned and with men playing parts of women they were even more upset. >> host: that the great flying that woman is a woman.
i was also fascinated as a former business journalist and i covered graphic arts and printing industry to learn about the blind printer. fascinating how the first was constructed. it was massive, 900 pages, paper was the problem. talk about that. >> guest: what we start the end of the story is about the copies to compare and draw the inference about how the book was actually printed so having many copies available to compare side-by-side shows how the copy was printed. the long and the short which is a phrase from shakespeare, the book was printed on the inside out. you didn't print page one then two then three. you printed them in little
booklets. he started at the middle and been moved from the inside out. it's hard to understand that i explain in the book. this meant two things. you have to estimate how much text would fit on a page that you would fit perfectly. if you had too much room no problem you could add a printer's ornament, something decorative, virtually doublespaced the text. that wasn't a problem. if you ran out of space on the other hand you might have to print poetry as opposed to the pros in order to make the text that. >> host: they say it's the last chapter it had to go. >> guest: today if you were hitting microsoft word you would say justified.
but you couldn't do that. you have to hand it to type. >> host: today we have hardcover, paper books and e-books. the paper in many books and i'm not speaking of high-quality literary or arts novels but popular fiction it doesn't last long. talk about the paper and we will talk about the present-day collection on the folio but talk if you would about what the paper is made of them isn't in danger in five years for ten years, 100 years? >> guest: the answer is yes. the paper that was used for the first folio was high-quality paper from normandy france. that's what he used in printing the first folio.
it's to say this is something important and special. something like that paperback book that would be half the size of the folio would have been printed on low-quality paper and it would have been more acidic and likely to disintegrate which is why the quarter size is much more rare and survived in pretty good numbers. they suffered hazards of time, fire, insects, infestation, people tearing plays out because it was more convenient to carry one at a time. but all things considered a pretty good number of them have survived. >> host: this was a business. he wasn't doing this out of the goodness of his heart. he ha had to estimate if it made sense to print then he had to sell them or someone had to sell
them. at the 750 copies ou 750 copiese gate into the stream of commerce? >> guest: ever sold mostly out of the printers shop, printer bookseller. the warehouses that have been around st. paul's cathedral in london so the square is the printing where broadway is the theater in the united states so it would have been the wealthiest of all of the bookshops. ..
the name of the character than the. sheet is put with the other pages than later collated and those that were printed off they would have the corrected versions so for every page there was a single proof sheet some uncorrected that a corrected version sold multiplied bad times 900 pages so every copy a slightly different. >> who was overseeing this at that point? >> so it was primarily before the already published versions then they edit them they had acted in these plays so they knew how they
had been enacted so they could look at what had been published to say that is not how that was then edit then into the version that the more commonly know as the first folio. so that manuscript as the theater company in the memorial recreations of how day headed did. but once they were transcribed it probably wasn't so much is it too would have done the of corrections. >> what i am thinking of but
shakespeare to my surprise wasn't hugely popular until after his death and people enjoyed his work but was hundred 40 years what happened to those first folios. >> i dunno love collectors go. >> with the english civil war with the puritans took over parliament the day prohibited that there were no new plays being written in they were not performed. so then again it comes back to this stage in by then the public had changed day
little bit the producers start to change. >> several movies made in hollywood i know how that works. [laughter] but a particular actor owned a copy of the folio his name was david he was very well known and traffic actor he edited the plays himself producing them in london for example, of rubio when juliet's a few he cut the act one or two to keep that narrative moving quickly
than 150 years after his death is different than what be remembered but it is going back to the first folio of how what would have been performed at the time shakespeare was alive. >> this is an interesting point but there were other folios as well that i found fascinating but the third folio all of a sudden he would see a copy of the third now there are seven new plays only one of which was a charitable to shakespeare but where did they come from? >> there were for all together. each were further away from the original text this so they would have acted in these there are hundreds of mistakes introduced later in
the first folio sells out within nine years than the second in the third band of the fourth and then they added their plays so imagine to say i found a manuscript of harper lee fourth there fifth novel then 20 years posthumously they thought they could make a little extra money to say it is better than the first. >> talk about henry folger at one point but it listed had something for the collectors. >> yes there were those who wanted to own the complete set. most of those wanted the really good quality copy of
the folger wanted every copy to get his hands on. missing plays, the torn pages insect board holes and have arrested outline of the eyeglasses that they were shut for years and he wanted them all. >> i will not charge you royalties but according to my family genealogy i am from the 17th earl of oxford we are from the conspiracy theorist that we've been he did not write those that there is a front man and i did not subscribe
to that but talk a little bit about that because people do find it fascinating. >> it is called the authorship question did shakespeare really write the plays? there are various candidates that they believe actually wrote the plays that are attributed to shakespeare. in his lifetime nobody doubted that he had written those. 150 years before somebody said we don't know if he really wrote the play there resent live in this evidence there is nowhere more school records showing that he went too clever school there. or how he wrote those without a university education. so the earl of oxford is one of the candidates francis bacon was the most popular
in the mid-1800s to roche a book purporting that there was no relation but she had an interesting story of her alone of the authorship question but to absorber the atmosphere. >> fiction writers do that lot although her book nathaniel hawthorne regretted the rest of his life she ended that been the insane asylum she had an interesting life that we
have a lot of evidence that shakespeare existed in stratford upon avon he wrote contemporary plays he acted in the plays the english were tremendously accurate record keepers and then mentioning dozens of times so queen elizabeth bin james the first new food shakespeare was and as they rode to the preface compliments about connecting shakespeare's.
>> and that avid conspiracy because of the namesake that edward died before macbeth was first performed he said he could have written them in a cottage somewhere simic but then he continued to have the plays published even after he died teeone but with macbeth the most important feature is that it saved half of the plays from extinction we have records and about twice as many plays them by the time shakespeare had died only
half of the plays had been polished. -- published but the other half of the plays and arguably without the book they would have been lost to history. as you like it the tempest tempest, and though julius caesar or cleopatra and don and don so no high schooler would be steadying macbeth. they are the unsung heroes. >> in there are two images
of shakespeare one made out of plaster but that was committed after shakespeare to say that isn't what he looked like but to commission a flemish engraver that would be the title page and this is the first time the authors picture was on the title page in such a prominent position to have a secondary source and then to engrave his. >> as the sketch artist.
where not allowed to produce right here either. and then performed. >> so talk about shakespeare and force when did he become interested? with that in doing. >> i faint it happened as with many collectors over a period of time to study the of plays that evers college he heard ralph waldo emerson deliver a lecture on shakespeare and thought this is worth closer study. but they affected hand personally and thought shakespeare had captured a modern man amazingly that is
not that different than 480 years later so they inform him of jealousy and competition. part number one is the up plays with a little bit of it, and his pocket he started to collapse with the first he acquires and dad is hammered down to pay for that over time. >> we learned this at law school. with the author like victors you go and so forth.
was he a student? >> he was already working but he had copies in his pocket bollenbach and for the. said they also went to the shakespeare performances. reading of plays. with the shakespeare scholars back-and-forth and how was is performed and was he year badness? >> and from the shakespearean world. and line of the mysterious
positions. >> but ironically thousands upon thousands of letters with that very first acquisition in around 83 and it is conditioned but we don't have a record how much he paid for that. with that manuscript collecting. with those unsophisticated and with those disparaging terms elsewhere. but agents and spies involved. >> the first folio is exceptional.
that is missing pages missing the title page and a the cover it is still a desirable. with said jack london white fang you probably would not be interested betted is exceptional it does not matter the condition they want a copy is no matter where they are. even though they were inquisitive that actually did read the play is. >> with one of your stellar
reviews i cannot remember what publication and was the basically three men and a woman but henry folger and his wife was instrumental. >> and without editing the up plays. the unsung hero for two reasons. and did you run the roads largest corporation end that inventory of the collection if you need to find out if you have a better or inferior copy if you should order that.
and she shared his passion for shakespeare and was not the dilettante but also participated on a daily basis to make those inventories in suggesting what they should buy. and kept a diary but that made her an exceptional partner that was very compatible that at the time that the stock market had already crashed but the
library never would have been complete. des finances were not says degeneres says he expected they would be had without emily participating to give her money to the building of the library there would not have opened. >> they were more devoted band to the art of collecting. and he tried to talk rockefeller. and then enter to make some money and that did not work out but.
>> en very talented that by the initial brinksmanship. and he wrote a letter be doubled he sent this to rockefeller to say he endowed the university of chicago maybe they'd like to have a great collection to tell you what should be reproduced that did not work >> and it went to a competitor. >> ultimately that did so
there was a financial panic and then to suffer a loss to henry huntington and i will give up the shakespeare thing altogether. ultimately but henry folger did get that collection. >> and there was a particular manuscript was the most valuable and desirable it was augustine vincent who gave him a the copy in person