Sunday 2012-10-07

The Great Crash, 1929 was first published in 1955 and has been continuously in print ever since, a matter now of forty years and more. Authors (and publishers) being as they are, the tendency is to attribute this endurance to the excellence of the work. Evidently this book has some merit, but, for worse or perhaps better, there is another reason for its durability.
Each time it has been about to pass from print and the bookstores, another speculative episode -- another bubble or the ensuing misfortune -- has stirred interest in the history of this, the great modern case of boom and collapse, which led on to an unforgiving depression.
-- John Kenneth Galbraith, forward to The Great Crash, 1929

Say you had been writing non-stop since you were a teenager, infatuated with Asimov's psychohistory you had written many and diverse stories which fed off the cycles of history: gregarious optimism, the horrors of pregnant times not lived but waited through, and stoic acceptance. You could face the possiblity of dying like Dickinson, with a pile of papers and nothing to show for it.

Or you could try to sell them: how would you arrange the auction so as to maximize your return?