I should like to offer a special thank you to Magpie for his kind words about Moneybags Must Be So Lucky. I have always thought that Moneybags is, pound for pound [or page for page] the best thing I ever have written, and it distressed me deeply that, in the words of David Hume, "it fell stillborn from the presses." Indeed, it was the failure of that book to gain any notice at all [save for a nice review in The Village Voice, of all places, by George Sciallaba] that turned me away from writing for a while and into administration of a sort. I am thrilled that all these years later my little book is finding an appreciative reader.
By the bye, do all of my blog followers understand the literal meaning of the metaphor "fell stillborn from the presses?" Since I suspect not everyone does, I shall explain. [I really am the sort of person who could cast a pall over the most delightful occasion!]
In Hume's days, women did not give birth lying on their backs. They sat on pieces of furniture called birthing stools, using the force of gravity to assist in the birth, much as other mammals do. Hence the verb form "falling." The image is that just as a stillborn fetus falls dead as the mother gives birth, so Hume's Treatise fell dead from the presses when it was published. Our modern metaphor "dead on arrival" probably has a similar origin, but absent the image of the birthing stool.
Since it is Hume's style, above that of all other philosophers, to which I have aspired throughout my life, I take comfort in the fact that when he published, as a young man, the greatest work of philosophy ever written in English, the early reviewers were not kind. I can still recall walking up and down the aisles of the stacks in Widener Library in 1956, pulling down copies of eighteenth century English journals and searching for reviews of Hume's Treatise.
Well, enough of strolling down memory lane. Thank you, Magpie.