Saturday, 26 November 2016

virago documentary

I watched an interesting documentary on Virago (the publisher of books by women, predominantly, founded in 1973) which I'd recorded some time ago on BBC4. Three interesting unconnected things:

- One of their early senior staff members said that they published twelve books in their first year, and they were asked in a press conference, 'How are you going to find enough books for next year?'

- There are no on-screen misprints more annoying than those in documentaries about books. Very careless.

- In the section covering the serious disagreement among top-level management at one point about which larger publisher to sell the business to (although the clip doesn't necessarily indicate she was specifically talking about this instance), Margaret Atwood said, 'I had a background in small publishing myself, and the smaller the cheese, the more ferocious the mice.' Which I thought was brilliant, and applies to so many contexts, not least church; I did a Google and it didn't come up as a frequently-used expression, so it may be an Atwood original. Or something only Canadians say.