One of the most glamorous aspects of the publishing industry, apart from all those sexy, sexy proofreaders’ marks, is the opportunity to hobnob with authors, artists, and other assorted luminaries. Recently, Abbevillians have been arranging and attending talks by David Rubinger and Ruth Corman, collaborators on one of our most exciting Spring ’08 titles, Israel Through My Lens. Rubinger has long been considered the foremost journalistic photographer in Israel; his portrait of paratroopers at the Wailing Wall in 1967 (cover image, above) is one of the iconic images of the 20th century. For years he was the oldest person on the masthead of Time magazine, but now, at 84, he’s retired…sort of.
The truth is, he’s got his hands full these days as a touring author, raconteur, and bona fide charmer. He’s still taking pictures, too: when we caught up with him for the U.S. promotional tour of his book, with stops including Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York, he carried his trusty Leica camera like (as he put it) an extension of his arm. Together with Corman, his biographer and collaborator, he regaled audiences with stories of snapping pictures on the battlefield, huffing and puffing to keep up with soldiers in their 20’s—when he was in his 50’s.
Mr. Rubinger was so fascinating, in fact, that we couldn’t resist interviewing him for our very first Abbeville podcast. He was gracious enough to oblige—and to sign some books for us after his New York talk, with what we noticed was a particularly elegant signature. David Rubinger: 84 years old, and still a man of incomparable style.
1.1. When meeting a famous photographer at a publicity event, it’s considered a faux pas to ask him to take a picture of you and your friends. He’s “off-duty,” as they say, and besides, you think he’s going to create his next masterpiece with that pink Casio digital you picked up at Circuit City? You wouldn’t hand a famous calligrapher a ballpoint pen and ask him for an autograph, would you? Sigh…you probably would.