Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers. --John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Tristan Smith, at it again--

Dear Tristan Smith,

While I find it somewhat interesting that someone bearing the name of a tiny, imaginary, malformed dwarf with translucent skin should invade my private e-mailbox with semi-erotic Valentine wishes, I regret to inform you that I regard the sacred obligations of St. Valentine as demanding decorum and faithfulness. The unfortunate saint wasn’t put to death for arranging love affairs but for offering the bonds of marriage, my wee novel friend, and I am married. L-o-n-g married, with three children who need their mother to ferry them about and to comb their hair and so on, not to go tearing after a translucent fictional dwarf.

Don’t you think that you had quite enough shenanigans while serving time as the main character in Peter Carey’s The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith? Can’t you just lie in peace on your shelf without signing up for a hotmail account and bothering married novelist-poets with your impertinent desires?

I ask you, is it seemly? Is it right?

No, Tristan Smith, it is not.

Besides, one book per character is quite enough. You are not Rabbit Angstrom, to go running about and multiplying the world.

Further, if you are a person of sound limbs impersonating a translucent fictional dwarf, the Ghost of Attorney Chenoweth Blithers—a resident of the northwest tower of the Palace--tells me that this is an act in gross violation of our local regulations, particularly as found in the Act against Cruelty to Little People, Imaginary Moving Figures Division, Section 3, Article 72. That’s the chapter just after Cruelty to Little People, Stationary Figures Division, ending with Garden Gnomes. However, if you simply did not realize that your nom-de-plume would cause a malformed translucent dwarf to spring up in this writer’s mind, I suggest that you visit your nearest bookstore and purchase the book of the same name, published by our friends at Vintage Paperbacks.

Thank you.

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Persons and fictional personages wishing to contact me for bookish reasons may still reach me by using the name "camellia" [at] the domain name of my main web site (see sidebar.) Yes, that is a circuitous mode of giving one's address, but I am just a wee bit tired of spam...

1 comment:

  1. Nothing like some encouragement to continue blogging!

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.