Jabotinsky, Tuesday Weld
I was pleased to see a long article about Shmuel Katz in the New York Sun Monday. I consider it one of the privileges of my life to have worked with him some years ago copy-editing “Lone Wolf,” his biography of Vladimir Jabotinsky.It came about in an odd way...
...He pointed to a large shopping bag with what I later realized was 1,000 pages of manuscript. Although it was 1994 the author had not yet entered the computer era. The pages were xeroxes, and their content had clearly been typed on an ancient typewriter with relatively small type. Graciously, Lyle said I need not be too punctilious.I knew the name Jabotinsky mainly from street signs I had seen in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem but I had no idea who he was. From the early pages of the manuscript I assumed he must be a literary figure. (These 1,000 pages, by the way, were merely volume one.)
...Shmuel came to New York several times in the course of the project and we had numerous stimulating conversations when we took a break from our work.Now 94 and living in a Tel Aviv senior citizens’ home, Shmuel is still at work. He recently published a book about Aaron and Sarah Aaronsohn, “The Aaronsohn Saga,” two Jews in Palestine who spied for the British in World War I.
Lyle drew a hard bargain. In addition to copy-editing “Lone Wolf,” he asked me to copy-edit a biography of Tuesday Weld. (How often do Vladimir Jabotinsky and Tuesday Weld figure in the same sentence?) There was not a shred of original research in it. Everything came from the equivalent of Modern Screen magazine. Well, at least it was much easier to avoid emotional involvement than “Lone Wolf” had been.
By Howard Kissel