August 21st, 2006


Balmas, Duzac

I am one week out of sync with the NY Times Book Review, which keeps annotating or glossing my opinions herein expressed one week later.  A new translation of "Three Musketeers" reviewed this week after my comment derived from Dumas about how easy writing is.  He apparently wrote 300 whopper novels in his lifetime, exceeding S. King, A. Trollope and J.C. Oates, perhaps (I don't have the figures to hand and two of those named aren't done yet). 

One oddity I learned about Dumas (I think it was in the book "King of Paris" by Guy Endore which I read in high school, never having read  a word of Dumas) was that hack writers of his day were paid by the line, not by the word, thus creating the strange pseudo-modern look of Dumas, lots of short lines of dialogue ("Sacre bleu!") and one-line paragraphs.  So unlike Dickens' or Thackeray's huge grafs.  Not a national or ethnic or cultural difference but an economic one.