Published as a hardback by Jonathan Cape in 1992, The Dreaming Swimmer came out as a Picador paperback in 1993. By that time I was at my busiest in television and not writing as much literary journalism as I would have liked. I plumped a famished volume towards what I thought was an acceptable mere slenderness by including poems and speeches, justifying the manoeuvre by an appeal to the scrapbooks put out by the early twentieth century Viennese essayists and cabaret writers I had so long admired. Some of the speeches were a close as I ever got to expressing general principles about television, and I thought that some of the poems came from the same serious impulse: why not set out the same sort of miscellaneous market stall in English as those old café writers had in German? From the historical viewpoint there was warrant for trying this, but in practical terms the volume looked a bit thin even to its author, and after it was published I resolved to wait a decent interval before bringing out another volume. Thus almost a decade went by, and a new millennium arrived, before Even as We Speak was published directly by Picador as a hardback in 2001, followed in 2004 by a paperback which is still in print.