Thursday, March 06, 2008

In response to the recent spate of fraudulent memoirs, Salon posted a satirical memo by Louis Bayard that posits how editors would respond to certain classic books today to avoid further scandal. (Under "The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas" by Gertrude Stein, for instance, it says "Written by someone else. Please change title.")

The Song of Myself one especially cracked me up:
"Reviewers have flagged the following line:

Do I contradict myself?
Very well then, I contradict myself ...

This is the kind of factual defiance we will no longer accept from our memoirists. Please change second line to: 'Sorry.'"
Somehow, I don't think Walt would be very happy with that suggested edit! It actually reminds me of the opening of Self Storage:
I celebrate myself.
Sorry, I just can't do it.

I hope Walt would be happy with what I did with his words...

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