Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Samuel Butler's, "The Aunt, the Nieces and the Dog"

Found an handwritten note, written June 1996, titled, "On reading Samuel Butler's essay, The Aunt, the Nieces and the Dog, which, on a quick check, looked as if it might form the basis of a new essay here and now. Then, as I read it , I saw the fun bit was:

I laughed, so many real gufaws: so that's where Peter Greenaway got his title!

There didn't seem to be much meat in the rest, even if it was toying with the way some types of writer start the day waiting for it to gel in some way and that when it does they feel able to get on, whatever that might involve.

Did not throw it away. It had how the mere pleasure of coming across a pleasing, intriguing title - before reading a word of what lay beneath it - was capable of setting me up for the day. Add to that the rediscovery of my flight of fancy about how a film-maker might have found a way of devising tricky title and, hey presto, rejuvenation of original pleasure.


Butler's essay came from Life, Art and Science, dowloadable at Project Gutenberg. May have picked up the rather tattered, brown book in my then favourite secondhand bookhop - Scurfield's, now no more as indeed no more is Scurfield, a bit of a poet - because it had something about evolution in it.

This one

How to Make the Best of life

might be helpful to aspiring writers - young and old - who are not completely convinced they have found their vocation or are feeling a bit sheepish about so much time spent staring out of windows or rooting in box files of scribbled notes, looking for inspiration, when they might be getting on earning living as a shelf stacker at their local Tesco's.


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