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IN BRIEF

Nonfiction

August 15, 1993|CHRIS GOODRICH

IN THE WEB OF IDEAS: The Education of a Publisher by Charles Scribner Jr. (Charles Scribner's Sons: $22.95; 234 pp.). Charles Scribner Jr.'s previous book on publishing, "In the Company of Writers," was a routine account of his life in the art and business of literature, and "In the Web of Ideas" is less of the same. The book's best stories: Hemingway almost deserting forever the Scribner publishing house after discovering that one of his fly-fishing rods, stored with editor Maxwell Perkins, had been damaged; Thomas Wolfe sleeping on the floor of Scribner's library while the novelist tried to read every book the company had published; C. P. Snow coming to New York in 1969, the year of the Miracle Mets, and becoming so devoted to baseball he requested a regulation ball to pitch into his hotel-room sofa. Scribner also includes in this volume essays touching on the classics, English, and the power of reading and writing, but they are neither original nor interesting.

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