The Patrons’ Post
Patrons of the Pollak Library
California State University Fullerton
Student Book Collection Contest
Volume XII Number 1 Fall 2007
Patrons of the Pollak Library, California State University Fullerton
P. O. Box 4150, Fullerton, CA 92834-4150
Gordon J. Van De Water
The very first CSUF Student Book Collection Contest, sponsored by the Patrons of the Library, commenced on August 27, 2007. The contest is open to any undergraduate CSUF student carrying a minimum of 6 units in fall 2007. The personal assemblage, that must include a minimum of twenty-five items, may be on any subject provided there is some unifying principle or theme to the collection. The student will be expected to prepare and submit a short essay describing the personal collection. Complete rules and instructions, including an application, can be found on the Patrons website: www.library.edu/patrons/patronshome.htm
Three cash prizes are being offered for the best collections. The first prize for one fortunate student will be $500, with additional prizes at $200 and $100. The judging to determine the contest winners will take place shortly after the close of the contest on November 2. In addition to cash awards
, all the winners will receive a one-year membership in the Patrons of the Library.
Report from the President
Welcome to the beginning of the 43rd year of the Patrons of the Library. The university is celebrating the 50th year since its founding so you can see Patrons have been around almost from the beginning. A 50th Anniversary Open House was held on September 15th and, as a part of the celebration, the Patrons demonstrated the Boswell Maps’ soon-to-be on-line version. Viewers were impressed with what they saw.
Patrons continue library visits and have scheduled one in Redlands in November. Planning for the Spring Lecture Series is complete—see the article entitled “Activities” for details on both these events. The Patrons Book Discussion Group has some challenging books chosen for this year starting with Marcel Proust’s Swann’s Way in September. Please join Board members and others and participate in these Patrons’ activities.
If you would like more information about the Patrons, contact me either by telephone (714-637-5131) or by email (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you are interested in learning more about Patrons on your own, visit the recently revised web site. The url is http://www.library.fullerton.edu/patrons/. I hope to see you at one of the Patrons’ functions.
Looking for an intelligent gift? Try a Patrons of the Library gift membership or the Patrons Lecture Series.
Albert R. Vogeler
“Partnerships of the Pen” was the title of a presentation my wife Martha and I gave for the Continued Learning Experience program at Cal State Fullerton in September 1985. We conceived of it as a dialogue on the subject of literary collaboration between spouses. To consider what we would say, we holed up a month before the scheduled date for a brainstorming session in the dunes at the Asilomar conference grounds on the Monterey Peninsula. No books allowed: it would be a kind of rehearsal for the dialogue to come, just talking together.
CLE’s advance advertising flyer said that we were part of a “Distinguished Lecture Series” and would explore “the pleasures, problems and perils of working together,” with examples from recent history. We had to come up with something that could justify the hyperbole—otherwise known as “hype.”
Gradually our thoughts coalesced—a good sign of incipient collaboration! We hit upon a scheme whereby we would progress through our main ideas alternately, interrupting each other and improving upon each other’s facts and opinions in a scenario designed to simulate spontaneity. It would be a collaboration about collaboration, displaying—not merely discussing—the tensions, compromises, and new understandings entailed in working together toward a shared objective.
All sorts of questions came to mind. What examples of successful “partnerships of the pen” could history provide? Is collaboration in writing different for married couples than for other collaborators? Do other kinds of collaboration provide useful analogies? We were agreed that literary collaboration did not necessarily mean co-authorship, but included every kind of mutual interaction—including discussion, research, note-taking, typing, proofreading, indexing, and editing—done in the interest of creating a publishable text.
When the appointed day arrived, we were able to discuss these questions using contemporary and historical examples. We began to triangulate on our literary partners with a nod toward other kinds of partnerships, including Collaborators of the Crown (Ferdinand and Isabella), Couples of Comedy (Ruth Gordon and Garson Kanin), Partners of the Prize (Pierre and Marie Curie), and so on. We looked at creative literary couples who were not collaborators (Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath); writing couples who were married, but not to each other (Betty Comden and Adolph Green); and the unusual case of posthumous collaboration between a devoted couple who were not married (George Henry Lewes and George Eliot). The paired personalities who genuinely exemplified our criteria were the Fabian Socialist writers Beatrice and Sidney Webb, the American historians Charles and Mary Beard,
the popular historians Will and Ariel Durant, the authors Middleton
Murry and Katherine Mansfield, and the philosopher John Stuart Mill and the formidable Harriet Taylor.
In exploring the process of editing--the primary form our own collaboration had taken for twenty years—we drew on our experience rather than that of others. With rare exceptions, after a book or article is written, it must be edited. Authors edit their own work as they write, of course, but at some point, early or late, others become involved. Only a second mind can provide fresh perspective and argue against inertia for improvements. Editing can sometimes be painless, but it is usually stressful, even agonizing. The wearied author insists, “It’s good enough!” and the adamant editor reacts, “It’s not good enough!” It can get worse if the exasperated author shouts “If you’re so good, write it yourself!” and storms out.
The core of collaboration is the editing experience, which can be the chief cause of its collapse. Defining a proper relationship between writer and editor is a hopeless task. There are simply too many variables. But we can certainly imagine undesirable extremes in a spectrum of possible editing relationships. On the one hand, an editor who is strong-willed, verbally proficient, and sensitive to nuance may intimidate a writer and make editing the text a misery of humiliation and resentment. On the other hand, a masterful writer may be so self-assured that an editor can make no headway in altering the text and will be rendered merely a bothersome nit-picker. If we conceive of an editor as essentially a
text therapist, he must surely never engage in textual harassment; yet he
must be firm enough to take the initiative constructively if he is to be of any use at all.
We can come closer to appreciating the possible varieties and subtle counterpoint of the editorial process by looking at five styles or philosophies of editing. It is, inevitably, judging, even if the judgment is merely a suggested change agreeably adopted. If the judgment is severe—dismissive rejection of whole paragraphs or pages—editing may be revealed as the exercise of power by one person over another, and therefore likely to cause hurt, anxiety, or resentment. Yet strong criticism can be tonic, a better stimulus to awareness and forthright confrontation with the issues than any merely helpful advice. After all, William Blake knew that “DAMN braces; BLESS relaxes.”
Editing is also persuading—salesmanship. A case must be made for changes, and the new words made to seem fitter. Instead of focusing on the text’s inadequacies, here the editor makes proposals the better to fulfill the author’s intentions. As the author’s instrument, the editor should be thanked for helping achieve the writer’s goals. But persuasion is not always this successful; it may create a sense of the writer’s inadequacy and of condescending manipulation.
Editing is negotiating—trading. The editor gives up some of his demands to secure others, or at least he should be ready to do so and know that he must bargain. He will have priorities and alternatives
among his proposed changes, though
he may still hold to principle in his
non-negotiable demands. Some accommodation and reciprocity between the two partners must
Editing can also be treated as problem-solving. This is a genuinely cooperative activity, each party giving up the role of creator or re-shaper of the text. Instead, they address together the problems in it that might weaken its effect or might mislead or distract readers. The writer and the editor are no longer adversaries but joint problem-solvers with a common task and reward. The text is viewed objectively, not possessively. Its problems are treated neither as the author’s inadequacy nor the editor’s punching-bag, but as the partners’ challenge. If they happen to be married, such self-abnegation may already have become a habit.
Finally, editing can be co-creative. If the editor, free of power-drives, manipulation, and self-interest--a considerable achievement!--rewrites in the spirit of the author, and the author honestly seeks to help the editor in his rewriting, if their sentences and paragraphs really integrate to the satisfaction of both, then editing has merged into co-authorship. The partners are co-creators. Doesn’t this also have an obvious counterpart in marriage?
Authors and editors remain in a relationship even after the editing is done. Editors judge their authors not only by their openness to editing, but for their generosity in expressing their debt. Editors like to be
thanked, and thanked in print. Did they edit but got no credit? Checked
every phrase but earned no praise? Were well-intentioned but still not mentioned? “Thanks to all who helped me” is not likely to be much appreciated; but “I am indebted to my indispensable editor, X, for generous, judicious, and unfailing advice” is warmly satisfying. If they are married, it’s all the better.
There is a halfway house between giving two collaborators equal credit on the title page and giving credit to one of them somewhere else (the fate of most editors). It is to set the second name in smaller type (“with the assistance of…”). But in most shared literary projects, one partner is so subordinate that his or her name appears only in the dedication or acknowledgments. Ironically that person is often said to have been indispensable. “I thank my wife, without whose patience this book could not have been completed.” That’s thanks for something, but exactly what? It could be collaboration, but it sounds like toleration. A famous theologian in his magnum opus thanks his children for keeping out of his study. It is rumored that an author once wrote in his acknowledgments, “I would like to thank my wife for the index. There is no index.” Or perhaps he wrote, “There is no wife.”
For this article, I would like to thank my indispensable editor, Martha, for her generous, judicious, and unfailing advice.
It is with great pleasure that I assume the duties of Membership Chairman. My predecessor, George Pollak, did an outstanding job in this role for a number of years. His keen intellect, enthusiasm and creativity coupled with thoughtful analysis were a benefit to the Patrons
, the CSUF Library and the community.
The membership category changes initiated in 2006 continue to be of significance in the total annual membership increase of 25%. The Alumni category now has over 50 members, and membership in the new Family and Student offerings is growing. Currently, Annual Membership is 146 plus 79 Life Members. The Annual Members include 53 Alumni, 81 Basic, 1 Benefactor, 3 Enhanced, 2 Faculty/Staff, 5 Family, and 1 Student.
Membership in the Patrons offers access to stimulating lectures by writers and other artists as well as other activities and events ranging from tours to discussion groups. Further, it supports the CSUF Library by expanding its collection of books and periodicals. We hope you will continue to join us in this important endeavor and urge others to participate also.
For further information, please feel free to contact me at
714 738-5590 and/or access our website for additional information, a calendar of our events and activities as well as membership applications. The site can be reached from the Library web site, www.library.fullerton.edu, under Information, Patrons of the Library.
Book Sale Center
Since 1995, the Book Sale Center has been selling used books from donations and excess volumes from the CSUF Library. Our very low prices of $1, $2, or $3 per book are set to help the CSUF students and others purchase books which are usually extremely expensive. All proceeds from sales are designated to purchase books for the Library, vitally important in this era of tight state budgets.
Our regular hours are 11 to 3 on Tuesdays, 11 to 7 on Wednesdays, and 1 to 5 on Thursdays. Please visit us - we’re now open for the 2007-2008 academic year (except during intersession in January).
As always, we need your donations to keep the shelves stocked in L 199. Please call Lorraine Seelig at 714 278-2182 to make arrangements. If you are interested in joining the Patrons and Emeriti volunteers working in the Book Sale Center, please call June Pollak at 949 661-0463.
Looking for an intelligent gift? Try a Patrons of the Library gift membership or the Patrons Lecture Series.
Howard Seller and Suzanne Serbin
Special activities for members of the Patrons begin on November 8, 2007 with a trip to the A.K. Smiley Library in Redlands. The building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, features Moorish-style stone arches, stained-glass windows, and carved gargoyles. A conservatory reading room and two outdoor garden areas enhance the beauty of the site. We will also visit the Lincoln Memorial Shrine, located just behind the library and is the only museum and archives west of the Mississippi River dedicated to the study of Abraham Lincoln and the American Civil War. Its extensive collection of diaries, manuscripts, images, and artifacts is maintained by the Smiley Library Special Collections Division. This tour will depart from CSUF at 9:00 A.M. and return at 3:00 P.M. Specific information about cost and reservations will be available in the near future.
Our 2008 lecture series begins on Sunday, January 27 at 2:00 P.M. Our first speaker will be Jim Newton. He came to the Los Angeles Times in 1989 after having worked for The New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Newton has reported on many significant and dramatic events in Los Angeles and California, and he shared in the Times’ Pulitzer Prizes for coverage of the 1992 riots and the 1994 Northridge earthquake. In 2006, he completed Justice for All: Earl Warren and the Nation He Made, which chronicles in detail the life of the former California governor and
Supreme Court chief justice who
presided over landmark decisions on segregation, the right to privacy, and school prayer.
Our second speaker, on February 24, will be Barry Glassner, professor of sociology and executive vice provost at the University of Southern California. Several of his books written in the past few years deal with fear and misplaced anxieties. Chief among these are The Culture of Fear: Why Americans Are Afraid of the Wrong Things and, most recently, The Gospel of Food: Everything You Think You Know about Food Is Wrong, which is relevant to a subject that currently preoccupies many people. Glassner has been featured in many articles and was interviewed by Michael Moore in the film Bowling for Columbine.
March 30 is the date of our final lecture by D.J. Waldie, contributing writer for Los Angeles Magazine and the author of commentaries and reviews in the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times. He has written frequently about Los Angeles and its suburbs and is the recipient of numerous awards for his insightful and pertinent work. His book Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles was named one of the best books of 2004 by the Los Angeles Times Book Review. His other impressive book is Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir (1996 and 2005), which received the 1996 California Book Award for nonfiction. Its subject is the city of Lakewood, where Waldie became the public information officer in 1977. Please join us for the tour and lectures.
From Queen Califia to Grizzly Adams
Gordon J. Van De Water
There is a perfectly delightful exhibition of books on display in the
Treasure Room of the Doheny Memorial Library at the University of Southern California. The exhibit runs from August 24 to December 14, 2007.
Here you will find a collection better known as The Zamorano 80, eighty essential books on California history. Most of the display comes from the
Special Collections of the university, but is supplemented with a number of
rare volumes loaned by a few members of the Zamorano Club, a club devoted
to artistic printing and beautiful books.
On display are original editions of several rare books such as the 1770 Extracto de noticias del Puerto de Monterrey …
the earliest report about the occupation of Monterey, during the Portola and Costanso expedition of
1769-70, the Reglamento Para el Gobierno de la Provincia de Californias from 1784 which offers the earliest laws governing Baja and Alta California. Also
on display is the first clothbound book published in Los Angeles in 1881,
Horace Bell’s Reminiscences of a Ranger, and a fine 1835 edition of Jose Figueroa’s Manifiesto a la Republica … the first book to be published in California. It was printed by Agustin V. Zamorano, California’s first printer.
The foregoing editions represent early and first events in the history of California books, but there are an additional seventy-six volumes to catch the eye and fill the mind with wonder.
The books you will see, many of them quite rare, continue to be collected
by those interested in Californiana. Since 1945, when the listing first came
from the press, only four individuals have managed to acquire all eighty first editions of the books. In 2003 in San Francisco, the last time all eighty titles were auctioned, they realized over $883,000. Not bad for a bunch of old books!
Patrons of the Library Book Discussion Group
We are beginning the eighth year for the Book Discussion Group, which meets on the fourth Thursday of each month 3-5 P.M. in the second floor conference room of Library South. We meet September-November and January-May. The format varies from month to month. For two consecutive months, one of the members assigns a book for everyone to read, then leads a discussion about it. In the third month, each person may select his/her own book and give a 5-10 minute report. Both fiction and nonfiction are fair game.
Here are some past "group read" selections:
John Adams by David McCullough
The Golden Age by Gore Vidal
The Rings of Saturn by W.G. Sebald
The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Beowulf by Seamus Haney
The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
The Future of Life by Edward Wilson
Corrections by Jonathan Franzen
Genome by Mark Ridley
American Prometheus by Kai Bird and Martin Sherwood
The Control of Nature by John McPhee
Krakatoa by Simon Winchester
Doubt (a play) by John Shanley
We welcome newcomers. For further information, contact
Herb Rutemiller at (714) 528-4475 or (714)278-5413 or
Big Book Sale
Gordon J. Van De Water
It isn’t often there is a book sale so discounted as this one. A couple
of months ago the huge book inventory was discounted by 40% and the
place was swamped with customers anxious to by many coveted titles.
Then the discount jumped to 50% off, and now, just a couple of months
from when the sale started, one can get 60% off the regular price of any
book in the inventory. The place is the Book Baron, 1236 S. Magnolia
Avenue in Anaheim. The phone number is 714 527-7022. The location
is at the corner of Ball and Magnolia. The store is open seven days a
The Book Baron has so many books on almost any subject; even
with the thousands of books that have left the shop, there are many
thousands left for the discriminating buyer. I don’t know when the sale
will end and the store will permanently close, but that day will come
before we know it. It is a good idea to phone the store to make sure it is
still open for business before making the trip. If you have a craving to
add a few more volumes to your bookshelves, the Book Baron just might
be the place to check.