If I had gobs of money just lying around, and a slightly more seared conscience, I could be easily sucked into the world of literary collecting, ardently acquiring the secularized equivalent of relics. I could see my home office becoming a kind of reliquary, lined with first editions and decorated with all sorts of artifacts–say hand-written manuscript from Ted Hughes, quirky photographs of Evelyn Waugh, used pipes from P.G. Wodehouse or maybe one of Elizabeth Bishop’s fountain pen, perhaps a portrait of Oscar Wilde or George Sand. It would be a delight to work in such a Wunderzimmer, absorbing the aura of writers gone before
In other words, I would be like a kid in a candy shop if I could be part of the Bonham’s auction of the Roy Davids Collection of Papers and Portraits–a veritable who’s who of British and American letters from the Victorian era up to the mid-20th century. I’ll have to settle for window shopping.