Saturday, October 20, 2012

Top 10 literary parodies

D.J. Taylor is the author of two acclaimed biographies, Thackerary (1999), and Orwell: The Life, which won the Whitbread Biography Prize in 2003. His novels include Derby Day (2011), At the Chime of a City Clock (2010), Ask Alice (2009) and Kept: A Victorian Mystery (2006).

His new book is What You Didn't Miss, "a hilarious collection of literary lampoons and an alternative history of modern English literature" culled from the popular Private Eye column of the same name.

One of Taylor's top ten literary parodies, as told to the Guardian:
Max Beerbohm on Henry James

"The Mote in the Middle Distance", from Beerbohm's collection A Christmas Garland (1912) is possibly the last word on the tortured syntax of the Master's late-period syntax: "The consciousness of dubiety was, for our friend, not, this morning, quite yet clean-cut enough to outline the figures on what she had called his 'horizon', between which and himself the twilight was indeed of a quality somewhat intimidating."
Read about another entry on the list.

Also see: Ten of the best parodies in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue