Hilarious - and telling - that the current interviews with Jonathan Franzen trot out the story that while writing 'The Corrections', as well as using earplugs he wore a blindfold and touch-typed, when to my knowledge he has denied this as the literal truth.
I was in the audience when he came to Waterstone's Deansgate in Manchester with The Corrections and someone asked him point-blank if it were true about the blindfold. Franzen explained that he had been talking metaphorically about the need for a writer (or his need anyway) to shut off the outside world in order to write, and that the journalist he'd been talking to at that time had taken it literally and others had run with it.
And they're still running with it. Does Franzen go on allowing them to take it literally when they mention it, or is it now just now set in stone in the records they look up? Either way, it's an indication of the importance nowadays of colourful meta-stories in the marketing of books.
Or else I'm remembering wrongly what he said that time in Waterstone's and someone can correct me (ahem).
On another note, I've been informed that The Times yesterday had an interesting article on the cost nowadays to any publisher entering books for the new Richard and Judy book club. I'm not prepared to pay to check it out online, but others may be if they haven't already read it...