Thursday, March 29, 2012

Missing The Point

Here is a E. Waugh's response to a publicist's enthusiastic call  for blurbs for Catch-22:

6 September 1961

Dear Miss Bourne,

Thank you for sending me Catch 22. I am sorry that the book fascinates you so much. It has many passages quite unsuitable to a lady's reading. It suffers not only from indelicacy but from prolixity. It should be cut by about a half. In particular the activities of "Milo" should be eliminated or greatly reduced.

You are mistaken in calling it a novel. It is a collection of sketches—often repetitious—totally without structure.

Much of the dialogue is funny.

You may quote me as saying: "This exposure of corruption, cowardice and incivility of American officers will outrage all friends of your country (such as myself) and greatly comfort your enemies."

Evelyn Waugh 
The times they were a changin'.

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