La imagen anterior es el logo de una de las mejores editoriales anglosajonas, sello del que Giroux fue una parte fundamental: el editor de fondo, el lector empedernido, el descubridor de nuevas voces y, a la vez, el responsable de los notables fracasos de Harcourt Brace, la editorial en la que trabajó antes de sumarse al trío que le dio cabida a su apellido.
Rescato un par de ellos, según lo cuenta Christopher Lehmann-Haupt en el obituario aparecido, hoy, en el New York Times, ya que retratan muy bien los derroteros y los motivos de la edición independiente (aunque a FSG la compró, finalmente, un grupo editorial):
[Giroux] had edited some of Jack Kerouac’s earlier books but was unprepared a few years later when Kerouac showed up at Harcourt Brace with a manuscript written on sheets of onionskin and teletype paper pasted together and delivered in a roll about 120 feet long. When Mr. Giroux would not agree to the author’s demand that he make no changes in the manuscript, which consisted of only a single paragraph, Mr. Kerouac stalked out, taking his book, “On the Road,” with him. Viking eventually published it, the book became a classic, and the episode became, for Mr. Giroux, a source of painful regret.
Mr. Giroux had also written to J. D. Salinger, offering to publish his short stories, which had been appearing in The New Yorker. He got no response, until one day his secretary announced that a Mr. Salinger was there to see him. Mr. Giroux repeated his short-story offer. Salinger argued that his stories wouldn’t sell until he had published a novel, which he said he was working on. It was about a prep school student named Holden Caulfield, he said, on Christmas vacation in New York City. He assured Mr. Giroux that he would like it, and they shook hands on an agreement to publish it.
More than a year later, Mr. Salinger sent Mr. Giroux the manuscript of “The Catcher in the Rye.” Mr. Giroux was all set to publish it. He was certain it would be a winner. Then Harcourt’s textbook department intervened, saying “Catcher” wasn’t right for the house. Mr. Giroux acceded, forced to reject what turned out to be one of the great successes of the century.
Furious at this interference, Mr. Giroux began looking to move to another house, and in 1955 joined Farrar, Straus & Co. as editor-in-chief. Some 17 of his writers at Harcourt eventually followed him — among them Eliot, Lowell, O’Connor and Malamud — although Mr. Giroux insisted that he had not solicited them.
Así los guardianes en el centeno, así las cosas.