Oscar Berg was an eccentric, theatrical personality — rumored to be

gay, but such a Protean character that any such effort

at categorization was misplaced.  He was a student of Philip

Glass operas and the history of the Russian Revolution; he

was an amateur photographer and cellist; he was a man

of parts.  This improbable figure had survived at the New

York Public Library; and indeed had eventually been promoted to

Branch Librarian, because he understood the nature of power in

a petty bureaucracy.  Nearly everyone on the library staff owed

him a favor.  He was unquestionably an unlikely library czar.


Paraphrases from the novel The Director by David Ignatius.