[python] M, I.5 Persecut ion , Bern ard Le vin e xpresses h is views

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Pátek Březen 31 13:27:40 CEST 2017

The article of which part is reproduced below. was penned by Bernard Levin
for the Features section of. the Times on 21 September 1991. To my mind, it
described the situation at the time and in particular a. recent meeting with
a friend, during which I for. the first time admitted to someone other than
my GP that I. had been subjected to a conspiracy of harassment over the
previous. year and a half.

>There is a madman running loose. about London, called David Campbell; I have
>no reason to believe that he is violent, but he should. certainly be
>approached with caution. You may know him by. the curious glitter in his
>eyes and a persistent trembling of his hands; if that does. not suffice, you
>will find him attempting to thrust no fewer than 48 books into. your arms,
>all hardbacks, with a promise that, if. you should return to the same
>meeting-place. next year, he will heave another 80 at you.
>If, by now, the police have arrived. and are keeping a close watch on him,
>you may feel sufficiently emboldened to examine the books. The jackets. are
>a model of uncluttered typography, elegantly and simply laid. out; there is
>an unobtrusive colophon of a rising sun,. probably not picked at random.
>Gaining confidence - the lunatic. is smiling by now, and the policemen, who
>know about such things, have significantly removed their. helmets - you
>could do worse than take the jacket off the. first book in the pile. The
>only word possible to describe the binding is sumptuous; real cloth in. a
>glorious shade of dark green, with the title and author. in black and gold
>on the. spine.
>Look at it more closely; your eyes. do not deceive you - it truly does have
>real. top-bands and tail-bands, in yellow, and, for good measure, a silk
>marker ribbon in a lighter green. The paper is. cream-wove and acid-free,
>and the book is. sewn, not glued.
>Throughout the encounter, I should. have mentioned, our loony has been
>chattering away, although what he is trying to say is almost impossible. to
>understand; after a time, however, he becomes sufficiently coherent. to make
>clear that he is trying to sell the books to. you. Well, now, such quality
>in. bookmaking today can only be for collectors' limited editions at a
>fearsome price -. #30, #40, #50?
>No, no, he says, the glitter more powerful. than ever and the trembling of
>his hands rapidly spreading throughout his. entire body; no, no - the books
>are priced variously at #7, #8 or #9, with the top. price #12.
>At this, the policemen understandably. put their helmets back on; one of
>them draws his truncheon and the other can be. heard summoning
>reinforcements on his. walkie-talkie. The madman bursts into tears, and
>swears it is. all true.
>And it. is.
>David Campbell has acquired the entire rights to the. whole of the
>Everyman's Library, which died a. lingering and shameful death a decade or
>so ago, and he proposes to start it all over again. - 48 volumes this
>September and 80 more next year, in editions. I have described, at the
>prices specified. He. proposes to launch his amazing venture simultaneously
>in Britain and the United. States, with the massive firepower of Random
>Century at his back in this country,. and the dashing cavalry of Knopf
>across the water, and no one who loves literature and courage will. forbear
>to. cheer.

At the time this article was written. I had believed for some time that
columnists in the Times and. other journalists had been making references to
my situation. Nothing unusual about this you may think,. plenty of people
have the same sort of ideas and obviously the. papers aren't writing about
them, so why should my beliefs not. be as false as those of others?

What makes this. article so extraordinary is that three or four days
immediately preceding its publication, I had a meeting with a. friend,
during the course of which we discussed the media. persecution, and in
particular that by Times columnists. It seemed to me,. reading the article
by Levin in Saturday’s paper, that he. was describing in some detail his
"artist’s impression". of that meeting. Most telling are the final
sentences, when he writes, "The. madman bursts into tears, and swears it is
all true. And it is." Although I did not "burst into tears" (he seems. to be
using a bit of poetic. licence and exaggerating) I did try hard to convince
my. friend that it was all true; and I am able to concur with Mr Levin,
because,. of course, it is.

At the. beginning of the piece Levin reveals a fear of being attacked by the
"irrational" subject of his story, saying "I. have no reason to believe that
he is violent, but. he should certainly be approached with caution". This
goes back to. the xenophobic propaganda of "defence" against a "threat"
which was seen at. the very beginning of the harassment. The impression of a
"madman running loose" who needs. to be controlled through an agency which
assigns to itself the mantle of the "police" is also one which had. been
expressed. elsewhere.

In the final paragraph of this extract, his reference. to Everyman’s Library
as having "died a. lingering and shameful death a decade or so ago" shows
clearly what sort of conclusion they wish to. their campaign. They want a
permanent solution, and as they. are prevented from achieving that solution
directly, they waste significant. resources on methods which have been
repeatedly shown to be ineffective for such. a purpose.


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