Diane Meier

Diane Meier

Welcome to Diane’s Blog!

I’ll use this spot to chart what I enjoy and endorse, as we attempt to live a life of style in a culture of business and writing and art. And I hope you join me; share your own stories, insights and ideas about living a creatively expressive life.

The Real Thing

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Last evening Marjorie Braman (my Holt editor and now, friend) rang the doorbell at 907. Leah and Evelyn and I were still meeting about PR for SSC and Venetia Kelly, Frank’s new book. Ben had just left – and the elevator was up on the 5th floor, as Billy had gone. Marjorie? Just stopping by? No one in New York just “stops by”. What’s up?

I opened the door to see Marjorie glowing. She apologized for ‘barging in’ – but she had a present for me and it couldn’t wait. Hmmmm. Marjorie has shown up before with gifts – a wonderful tall crystal vase that she thought would look great in 907 with its 12’ ceilings, and many offerings from Macmillen that M thought would catch my fancy. This was different. From her capacious bag (the kind our mothers told us would ruin our posture) she pulled a hard cover book.

There it was. I held, in my hands, the first hardbound copy of The Season of Second Chances. It’s a real book, I thought. And – it’s a really beautiful book.

The cover is lovely. And the deckled pages and the end papers -- Did we tell you it has end papers? The flowers on the cover and end papers, if I haven’t already mentioned it, I will now -- are taken from the work of William Morris, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Morris) the founder of the English Arts and Crafts Movement – and a hero of mine for so many reasons. Even beyond his politics and the obvious taste he displayed in choosing his friends and his craft and his work – we are left with the decidedly un-political evidence of his talent. And while we can discuss (and an interesting discussion it would be, too) whether talent without intent, without intellectual direction or vision – would give us the same physical body of work, or leave an equal emotional response in its wake, here, a hundred years later, we are left with beauty that still sings with an appreciation of earthly delights, the restraint of human discipline and the unbounded mystery of talent.

On top of it, Teddy chooses William Morris wallpaper for Joy’s house – and the flowers and vines of the end papers suggest that very paper. So now when you hold the book, you can actually see what Teddy had in mind. It all couldn’t seem more real or wonderful.

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