05 July 2006

Vase depicting Andromache and Hector


Many of the comments I receive are almost as silly as the posts about which they're so rabidly foaming.

Unless I can counter with some jejune repartee, I tend to delete.

I now have the perfect one-size-fits-all response, thanks to the latest (and always excellent) Oldie, in which extracts appear from The New Oxford Book of Literary Anecdotes.

One caught my eye, an interview with Dorothy Parker where she speaks of Robert Benchley:

' ... Harold Ross, the New Yorker  editor ... was a professional lunatic, but I don't know if he was a great man. He had a profound ignorance.

On one of Mr Benchley's manuscripts he wrote in the margin opposite "Andromache", "Who he?"

Mr Benchley wrote back, "You keep out of this."'

The huge pleasure I get in reproducing that is enhanced by the certainty that only three readers known to me will actually laugh out loud; one will, in fact, guffaw.

But what a wonderful medium, in which one can occupy some corner of a foreign field and still crack a joke of pleasing intimacy.

Flash Harry Note: The Lit Anecdotes Book (which sounds divine and required bedside reading) is out July 6.

If you get your skates on and have it casually draped over your coffee table within the next week or so, you will look soo  chic and literary.

Can't you just hear the whispers at your next soirée,
"Omigod, look over there. They must read 'Corfucius'"

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