August 24, 2007

What avail him now his awards and prizes?

Andrew Sullivan quotes what has to be the greatest poem ever written about being an author. It's by Clive James and can be found here and in this (ironically?) out-of-print book. "The Book of My Enemy Has Been Remaindered"

Here is an excerpt, but read the whole thing:

And (oh, this above all) his sensibility,
His sensibility and its hair-like filaments,
His delicate, quivering sensibility is now as one
With Barbara Windsor's Book of Boobs,
A volume graced by the descriptive rubric
"My boobs will give everyone hours of fun".
Posted by Dr. Frank at August 24, 2007 12:58 AM | TrackBack

That is great. My favorite line (not counting "my boobs...") has to be "The unbudgeable turkeys".

Posted by: Art at August 24, 2007 04:45 PM

The Clive James excerpt might have served as a better epigraph for the British edition than the one you used although that one does have its own singular charm for someone like me who had his writer's block surgically removed only in the last few days.

Interesting story why you had to choose another epigraph for that edition. The one you chose for the original by Lord Alfred Douglas met all the criteria for "Epigraph" in your Glossary.

To entice more readers who might not know of that addition and other changes because of the differences between British law and American and between the language spoken and written on opposing sides of the Atlantic (compare versions of Harry Potter for instance) I transcribe the new Epigraph here hoping I am not violating copyright laws that might have me sent to the Tower:

And, crueller still,
A fierce and restless fright begins to fill
The mansion of my soul. And, worse and worse,
Some bodily form of ill
Floats on the wind, with many a loathsome curse
Tainting the hallow'd air, and laughs, and flaps
Its hideous wings,
And makes me wild with horror and dismay.

-- John Henry Cardinal Newman

(The lines are excerpted from Cardinal Newman's long poem: "The Dream of Gerontius". It was later set to music by Elgar early in the 20th century. (Elgar was a hidden influence on MTX/)

Posted by: Paul Caringella at August 25, 2007 06:59 AM

The poem is also quoted in Anne LaMott's how-to-write book "Bird by Bird". Thanks for posting the whole thing!

Posted by: Duncan at August 28, 2007 10:27 PM
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