Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel


On this day (on alternate years) Mr Earbrass begins writing his new novel, having chosen its title at random from a list he keeps in a little green notebook. For a full account of this process, I highly recommend The Unstrung Harp or Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel by the late great Edward Gorey.



One of my favourite moments comes when Mr Earbrass attends a literary party:

“Among his fellow-authors, few of whom he recognizes and none of whom he knows, are Lawk, Sangwidge, Ha’p’orth, Avuncular, and Lord Legbail. The unwell-looking gentleman wrapped in a greatcoat is an obscure essayist named Frowst. The talk deals with disappointing sales, inadequate publicity, worse than inadequate royalties, idiotic or criminal reviews, others’ declining talent, and the unspeakable horror of the literary life.”



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