Friday, 16 November 2012
Some of my favourite writers, according to Uncyclopedia
So have I ever said how much I like Uncyclopedia? Perhaps not. I suppose I haven't mentioned it, even once, on my blog, which is a shame, but well, I'm mentioning it now.
Uncyclopedia is a satirical website that parodies Wikipedia.
Articles about some writers I like:
- F. Scott Fitzgerald:
"F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896 September 24 - 1940 December 21) was an Irish American, Francophile, novelist, author, screenwriter, and husband of Zelda and Daisy Fitzgerald, although not both at the same time (see Early Years)."
"He wrote many novels and screenplays of those novels about youth and age, hope and despair, fun and boredom, breakfast and dinner, white and black, greater and lesser, more and less, some and none, up and down, man and woman, richer and poorer, though generally only richer."
"He's interesting. He also once claimed that, when writing the Great Gatsby, the first image he created was Myrtle's 'flapping boob'. He is thought to have spent several weeks 'checking over' the concept art relating to this subject, only pausing to ask for another box of tissues."
"Tender Is the Bright Night Light"
"Tender Is the Flight at Night"
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the womb."
For the other 3 writers, the articles are written in their styles.
- J. D. Salinger
Favourite parts: "J.D. Salinger was this guy, he was a writer I think. He wrote this goddamn book, it was about baseball or bread or something. I can never remember that sort of goddamn thing, if you want to know the goddamn truth. I don't care much for school and don't pay attention that often. Except I do like English. So I guess it's kinda weird that I don't remember.
Anyway, this goddamn Salinger guy likes to go by his first two initials as his pen name, just like my brother D.B., who's actually my favorite author. Old D.B. I suppose he's still prostituting himself in Hollywood living in the height of his goddamn glory with the rest of the goddamn phonies. I hope to hell not, really. I should probably give him a goddamn buzz."
"When this goddamn Salinger guy was a kid, I guess he must have written a lot or else he wouldn't be a writer. I write a lot, but when I get done it just looks so phony that I can't stand it so I throw it away. This one time I wrote a story about these geese, and I guess it was pretty good. But then when I showed it to people they kept telling me about how good it was. People are always telling you how good stuff is. It really spoiled the story for me. Now I can't even read the story without feeling like a goddamn phony."
"He wrote this goddamn book, it got a lot of good reviews and all. Catcher something. A lot of goddamn people liked it and gave him a goddamn prize for it. Very big deal. Some goddamn people got pretty sore about it though and tried to ban it for Chrissake. Real princes I'll tell ya. Reminds me of some goddamn mac I once knew.
I think prizes are goddamn phony as hell. It's just goddamn people going up and getting something shiny just because they did something goddamn fancy. Boy, I goddamn hate that. In my old school you wouldn't've goddamn believed what some people got these lousy awards for. The goddamn headmaster would call them up to this gorgeous stage and congratulate them for having perfect attendance or combing their goddamn hair or something corny like that. These goddamn people are just a bunch of goddamn phonies, really. I'm sure his goddamn book was real fantastic, though. A sure thinker."
- Franz Kafka:
"His absurd and often dark arguments in the Czech courts made him one of the most respected attorneys in all of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This despite the fact that most of his arguments were made posthumously, contrary to his request that they be burned by his research assistant, Max Brod. Kafka's clients were often annoyed, and sometimes even angered that their insecure lawyer refused to allow others to read his arguments: most of them were sentenced to death by silence, but it is widely believed that they are among the most surreal and effective arguments ever put forth."
"Kafka represented a defendant, one Gregor Samsa, accused of robbing a local bakery on the morning of June 18, 1914. The defendant had a rather unusual alibi that Kafka was forced to prove.
" As Gregor Samsa awoke on the morning of June 18, 1914, the date in question, from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. He was lying on his hard (as it was armor-plated) back, and when he lifted his head a little he could see his dome-like brown belly divided into stiff arched segments on top of which the bed quilt could hardly keep in position and was about to slide off completely. In this state it would have been difficult, if not impossible, for Mr. Samsa to have broken the lock on the bakery door after tests conducted by acredited officials showed that it would have taken a person with peculiar flexibility to have done so. Mr. Samsa's state was later confirmed by two independent doctors, with only the company sick-insurance doctor dissenting that Mr. Samsa was fine, though he considered all of mankind to be perfectly healthy malingerers."
Much was made later over the translation of this case. Because of Kafka's esteemed status as a lawyer, his cases have been used as precedent all over the world. In the case of "Delambre v. Delambre", Samsa's case was considered by the prosecution as a precedent for the transformation of men into bugs and their legal status. The defense, however, argued that Mr. Kafka had only used the word "Ungeziefer", which in German means "vermin", and had no relevance in the case of Andre Delambre, who claimed that after accidentally combining his DNA with that of a fly, his wife tried to kill him. The judge ultimately upheld the Samsa case as precedent, and Mrs. Delambre was charged with attempted murder."
"The Trial: Kafka represented a man accused of murdering a man whom he did not remember. The prosecution accused him of crimes that he could not remember. Both sides, however, remembered the trial dates and Kafka presented his most eloquent argument in defense of his client. In his defense, Kafka argued that a man who had had several consultations with his attorney and had even managed to have sex with his attorney's receptionist, could not be a cold murderer of a man who, in any case, was not worth remembering. As proof, he argued that even the prosecution could not remember the victim! The client, in a moment of lucidity, remembered that he was unable to remember and he wept before the judges. It was the most memorable event in jurisprudence. The court was thoroughly moved by his arguments and a date for judgment was set but Kafka did not remember to attend. Nobody knows what happened to the client, save that he died like a cur, or, he ate some dog, or, some dog ate him (translation from german to english is a tricky business)."
"Whether Kafka's untimely death was truly a tragedy is debatable. Some scholars reckon that life might not have been such a tragedy had Kafka's tragic arguments not been compiled by the Bar Association. On a more personal level, Kafka was a Jew living in Germany, and only a few decades later Hitler rose to power and had all the Jews interred in concentration camps. Kafka would have been rather old by then and most certainly would have been one of the first to the gas chambers, and his written arguments would have likely been destroyed by stormtroopers, along with his other possessions. So yeah, dying young and alone without anybody loving you does seem sad, but sometimes that's just the kind of luck you have."
- Vladimir Nabokov:
"Nabokov, instigator of irony, agent of alliteration. My sin, my soul. Na-bo-kov: The tip of the tongue touching, timidly, the teeth and resting as two rapid rushes of air adds, softly, their respective syllables. Na. Bo. Kov. He was Владимир, plain Владимир, in aristocratic Saint Petersburg. He was Sirin in Berlin. He was Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov on the dotted Line. But in my hands he was always Nabokov."
"The second section of this arid article, this lyrical, lilting lemma, would as doctrine dictates, as forced by formality, be dedicated to biographic information. Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, pay heed, focus your unsleeping minds, and do not miss a word, for in this squabbled skein of sentences lies the life of our knowledgeable Nabokov, our vivid Vladimir.
How, then, did it all begin? When was it that the nubile Nabokov first felt that disturbing light of life? When took he, protagonist of our petit histoire biographique, his first breaths in the opaque air of old Saint Petersburg, city of Surikov, burg of Brodskij, town of Tolstoj. It was the cold, unforgiving spring of 1899, the tenth day of avril on the Julian calendar (precision is key in our modest exercise in deceptive history) (Note: I notice the slip of my type in the preceding aside, but please do not correct it, O Ruthless Reader). The nubile Nabokov learned his languages early, indeed; someone more romantic than myself might say he had always been trilingual, from the very moment he exited that blessed bastion of solitude, that warmest of wombs."
"Oh, he has only the pieces to play with!"
Satire is awesome. Uncyclopedia is awesome.