May 21, 2007
John Wronoski is a rare book dealer who specializes in literature, and primary works in the history of ideas in English, German, French, Spanish, and Russian. His shop, Lame Duck Books, contains 'the most significant selection of 19th and 20th century Spanish language literature in the world,' and important originals of 17th and 18th century English poetry. In addition to performing the traditional role of bookseller, John serves as 'agent in the institutional placement of archives' for some of the 20th Century's most important authors.
It is in this capacity, as literary archives dealer, that John talks to m here about, among other things: the importance of recognizing value in the rare book trade, paper production in the lives of writers, evident spiritual input in the process of creation; the evaluation, cataloguing, packaging and marketing of manuscripts, the comparative value of long-hand versus typed documents, the compatibility of pen and paper with the flow of thought, the value of hand written/type-written correspondence versus email, rich book dealers getting richer, Frederic Tuten's Tin Tin in the World, loosing $1 million manuscripts, and adoption agencies.
(Please note the interview was conducted before the British Library purchased the Pinter archive)