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

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Very High Romance

You know, I just tumbled into a site where I read the most dreadful, laughable bit of a novel--all full of grammar mistakes and European counts and barons and crazy syntax and misspellings and lovely young girls and jewels and passionate flingings-about. Then I read a statement by the author, all about her joy in making stories and the stored-up treasure in her heart, and I was so, so touched somehow that this royal nonsense, poorly-worded and poorly-punctuated and packed with rubbishy dreams, came flowing from her heart, so that she thanked God for the goodness of the world and for her precious gift.

Still in pre-order.
The Ferrol Sams Award for Fiction
La! I was abashed.

All the same, if you have to choose between that one and mine, I do advise--forgive me!--that you send for mine. There are no counts and barons and jewels (except for a bit of jet bead that some boys pretend is a jewel), and though there is love, it is often unspoken or refused. No Cinderella-worthy carriages fetch a baron home; no, just a train to go steaming by, if only the traveler can catch hold without paying with a leg or life. I trust there are no mistakes on hand, no bizarre commas or lack thereof, no grammatical contortions.

But the joy of telling stories: evidently that is the same.

4 comments:

  1. "the joy of telling stories" - yes, that is so important! Love this post, Marly.

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  2. Delightful. I love the "La!" And I could picture you reading this stuff and being "abashed."

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  3. Stevens's "The Plot Against the Giant" ran through my head when I wrote that line.

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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.