Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Pics of the Weeks: May 2008
I've been reading Mark Twain. The compilation has some "opening remarks" from Kurt Vonnegut at the start of it - I believe they were published when he was alive but given it refers to a couple of pieces that aren't in the compilation it doesn't seem to have been written specially. Vonnegut notes a slew of US satirists who started in the newspapers with a juicy quote I add here when I have the volume to hand.
So many of America's funniest writers have come up through newspapers [he rolls off a few names] that it may be correct to think of them as editorial writers gone berserk.He doesn't specifically mention Ambrose Bierce, more or less comptemporary to Twain. But then, Bierce probably didn't crack - I gather he was like that the whole time.]
It is as through they had written solemnly and respectfully about mankind's problems year after year. And then, one day, they couldn't stand it any more. Nothing would do but that they jeer at their luckless readers for belonging to such a stupid and vain and unlucky and greedy species.
Anyhow, in wondering if this reading would influence my output it did strike me that if Tom Sawyer et al were around today the would be tagging something. When I put this idea to the office it was pointed out that Tom Sawyer would have everyone else tagging things for him.