Literature Abuse

Dorian E. Gray israfel at
Mon Mar 26 14:15:59 EST 2001

Jennifer said...
> >The sky failed to fall on Dorian's head as she wrote:


> >But for me, it's not confined to books; I will come away from plays,
> >or TV programmes talking like the main characters, too.  I go all
> >Californian after I've been watching "Buffy".
> I get very quip-happy. Sadly not as funny, though. Book-style creeps into
> things I write while reading them, rather than my speech (that I've
> noticed.)

Oddly enough, the style of what I've been reading rarely finds its way into
my writing - and I have paid attention, since one of the things how-to-write
books always say is that you shouldn't read other stuff just before writing,
for fear of contaminating your work.  But then, how-to-write books say all
sorts of things, not all of which are true for me, so I generally just get
on with writing.  I only read how-to-write books when I'm trying to avoid
writing; reading a how-to book seems, somehow, not to count as lazy

> Ah, but isn't it great when people do recognise things? I treasure my
> brother and SO because they can often top quotes.

Oh yes.  My family approves highly of my brother's current girlfriend,
because she reads the same kinds of things as we do, and makes the same
kinds of references and quotes.  (She caught my very obscure reference to
"My Family and Other Animals", at Xmas, and topped it!)

> I love the bit in Busman's
> Honeymoon where the Superintendent starts playing the Shakespeare game
> Peter.

I don't know the Shakespeare game - what is it?

After seeing "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" when I was about 14 or
15, we played their word game at the dinner table for weeks (you know, the
one where the conversation has to consist entirely of questions, and
non-sequiturs are not allowed).

Until the sky falls on our heads...

Dorian E. Gray
israfel at

"Fashion exists for women with no taste, etiquette for people with no
--Queen Marie of Romania

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