Hundredth Post

rogersgeorge on November 26th, 2011

We interrupt the scintillating discussion of grammatical case to celebrate writing on the hundredth post of this humble site. This post contains a sample of some marvelous writing.

Brooke McEldowney studied viola at the Julliard. He is also a cartoonist par excellence. He writes two strips, 9 Chickweed Lane, about a ballerina and her family and others, and Pibgorn, about a fairy and some other natural and non-natural people. Those descriptions do not begin to do justice to the long, complex, original, erudite, and enjoyable plot lines you will find in each comic, nor the interesting personalities he has created. I recommend you read them. Both are available on GoComics.

I’m not showing a picture in this post because I want you to go read the comic. The sample of writing below is part of what appears below the panel several days into a recently-begun story in Pibgorn titled Mozart and the Demon Lover. (The link goes to the first panel in the story.)

… Glancing one recent day at an online reference site that purports to be encyclopedic, I looked at this very cartoon on its Pibgorn entry. Originally, when the cartoon appeared on that page, the attached caption stated that it was a moment at the beginning of a Pibgorn story, showing the three principal characters. However, my recent fly-by screeched to a halt because the caption had changed. It now stated that they were discussing “the sexualization of music” (whatever that means).

I wrote to someone at the site in order to inform them that the caption was balderdash. A response arrived in due course, dispensing the effluvia that I cannot be a reliable source of information about my own writing because I am too close to it, have too much of a vested interest in it.

I informed the writer that the entire thrust of the first three panels derived from a New York Times music review in the 1980s by Harold Schonberg, in which he asserted that simply performing Mozart was not an adequate practice; that performers had to “sell” Mozart. When I wrote the dialogue to this cartoon, I was reflecting on Mr. Schonberg’s review. At no point during the composition of the panel, or since, have I ever entertained the mystifying codswallop that one can sexualize music (without the assistance of Gypsy Rose Lee, I mean).

The idea that the creator/writer/limner cannot be a reliable source of information on his own work because he is too close to it – that only tertiary sources of canards and crackpottery can be regarded as reliable – proceeds from an arrogance that beggars description. It could kindly be dismissed as moonshine, except that, whence it issues, the moon don’t shine.

Marvelous! Wonderful vocabulary. (Look up the words you don’t know.) Perfect grammar. Syntax at once clean and complex. This is the highest of high dudgeon. I love it.

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