Let me entertain you with a motley collection, items about reading, quotations, and word play.
Douglas Adams (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) died in 2001 at the too soon age of 49. His wife and friends, editors and agents, searched his computers for unpublished work (play, he would have called it) and the result was The Salmon of Doubt, an anthology of fiction and nonfiction. In it, Adams observed: “I find when I read literary novels – you know, with a capital ‘L’ – I think an awful lot is nonsense. If I want to know something interesting about the way human beings work, how they relate to each other and how they behave, I’ll find an awful lot of women crime novelists who do it better, Ruth Rendell for instance.”
Isn’t this lovely? “Anthology” comes from a Greek word meaning the gathering of flowers.
An out-of-print paperback, The World’s Shortest Stories, contains this editorial observation: “Modern tempo leaves little time for reading. The commuter’s train, the convalescent’s bed, the intervals between lying down and going to sleep – for many a reader today, these are the only times that can be devoted to the sober beckon of the printed page.” The copyright of this book is 1960.
And then there is Christopher Moore, who writes wonderfully funny fantasy, and who claims his approach to research has always been, “Is this correct or should I be more vague?”
You think government today is a clueless group? In the mid-1800s, the Board of Councilmen, Canton, Mississippi, came up with this declaration:
- Resolved, by this council, that we build a new jail.
- Resolved, that the new jail be built out of the materials of the old jail.
- Resolved, that the old jail be used until the new jail is finished.
May Santa bring you the gift of time to read, read, read.