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Caught on Paper

By Bob Woodiwiss · June 24th, 1999 · Pseudoquasiesque
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Dear reader,First, I, along with all my fellow writers of print materials, would like to thank you for your continued support. Without your scanning eyes and comprehending brain, we'd be forced to live on the streets, reduced to reciting or acting out our news reportage, magazine pieces, columns, biographies, novels, self-help books, etc., for proffered change. No better than the filthy, homeless, alcoholic scum on whom we occasionally make a buck by churning out a poignant human-interest story. And believe me, no writer needs to add "filthy" and "homeless" to his/her list of problems.

Unfortunately, your ranks, the ranks of the print reader, are shrinking. Film, television, the Internet and other non-tactile media continue to erode the popularity and profitability of "inkommunications." So, in an effort to re-attract lapsed readers while at the same time making our operations more cost-effective, we've decided to publish a series of fast-paced, compelling "reality-based" books. Each will feature bite-size items -- often excerpted from existing books, magazines and other sources -- that promise to keep interest levels high, costs and the common denominator low. Look for them in a bookstore near you.

The World's Most Amazing Prose ­ It's all here. The exuberant all-caps stylings (HEEEEEE-WHACK) of the young Tom Wolfe. The liberally italicized musings of Douglas Coupland that inform the reader exactly where a sentence's emphasis is. The "choodessny slovos" of A Clockwork Orange's loopy lexicon. Even the haute pop, over-the-top, oversized, multifont typographical tinsel of bad-boy biographer Dennis Rodman. The World's Most Amazing Prose is a thrill-a-page roller coaster ride for both your cones and your rods.

When Words Attack ­ Poison pen letters. Dear John letters. Scathing roman à clefs. The n-word. The k-word. The f-word (no, not that f-word, the homophobe's f-word). Penile disparagement. The f-word you thought I meant a couple sentences ago. Schoolyard nicknames (Shorty, Lard-o, Pizza-face, Four-eyes and more). Pat Buchanan speeches. Every cold-blooded item in this incredibly cruel collection has injured somebody. And though your heart says stop reading, your eyes can't look away.

Uncensored Blunders, Goofs, Flubs, Grammatical Errors and Typos ­ Did you know that the most recent translation of Mann's The Magic Mountain was published as Six Flags Over the Alps? Or that the original four Gospels were the Books of Matthew, Mark, Vic and Goldie? You'll roar at editing gaffes like, "It was a blast at times, to eat a wurst at times" and the first-draft candor of Oscar Wilde ("I can resist everything except the temptation to have anal sex."). With an introduction by Dick Clark.

Breaking the Author's Code: Writing's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed ­ Publisher's Weekly might be sworn to secrecy but now, the Masked Novelist is divulging the answers to some long-held writers' secrets. Where exactly do writers get their ideas? How do the professionals remember when to use "its" versus "it's?" In what draft should an author reveal a fondness for anal sex? To be a humor writer do you really have to be "one of the saddest fucking human beings on the face of the earth?" All you need is this one incredible book and a starring role on a television sitcom and you'll be published in no time.

-- BOB WOODIWISS
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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