Friday, July 14, 2006

Quote of the Day, 7/14/06

From one of my all-time favorite books, William Goldman's The Princess Bride:

(Aside -- did you know that Robert Browning's first book of poems didn't sell one copy? True. Even his mother didn't buy it at her local bookstore. Have you ever heard of anything more humiliating? How would you like to have been Browning and it's your first book and you have these secret hopes that now, now, you'll be somebody. Established, Important. And you give it a week before you ask the publisher how things are going, because you don't want to seem pushy or anything. And then maybe you drop by, and it was probably all very English and understated in those days, and you're Browning and you chitchat around a bit, before you drop the biggie. 'Oh, by the way, any notions yet on how my poems might be doing?' And then, his editor, who has been dreading the moment, probably says, 'Well, you know how it is with poetry these days; nothing's taking off like it used to, requires a bit of time for the word to get around.' And then finally, somebody had to say it. 'None, Bob. Sorry, Bob, no, we haven't yet had one authenticated sale. We thought for a bit that Hatchards had a potential buyer down by Piccadilly, but it didn't quite work out. Sorry, Bob; of course we'll keep you posted in the event of a breakthrough.' End of Aside.)

On a totally-out-of-left-field note, I just saw that my copy of The Princess Bride has the cover pasted on backwards and upside down. I wonder how many other people got the joke-shop version like mine.

For anyone who's only seen the movie, if you have a love of writing and you enjoyed the story from the movie, I think you'll find the book is even better. If you haven't seen the movie, this is one of those rare cases where you can experience them in either order and it won't change how good each is.

3 comments:

Curtis said...

It's very rare when both the book and the movie are equally enjoyable. Usually one is better than the other, sometimes it's the one you see or read first (particularly if you liked it) because it implants certain fixed ideas about the story or the characters that the latter changes.

Think about all the great writers that we don't know about because they never got published.

Curtis said...

Loved the movie--you've enticed to read the book. I'll give it a read after what I'm reading now, The Foreign Correspondent by Alan Furst. It's totally unrelated to one of my favorite Hitchcock films of the same name--other than that they both take place in Europe just prior to WWII.

Curtis said...

Speak of the devil, look what's on TCM tonight at 8:00. Foreign Correspondent. Nrkii, if you're home tonight with nothing else to do and haven't seen it, it's a good little pre-WWII Hitchcock.