Gustav Flaubert was one of the first novelists in the
new field of "fiction". The word "novel" means new.
Little did he (and his British counterpart Charles Dickens)
and their erstwhile American counterpart James Fenkmore
Cooper) know what they were un-leashing on the world.

The world would be better off if they had gone into
agronomy. I am sure that at the time the concept of
versimilitude was really swell. (Verasimitude is the
idea of including SO MANY details, that the writing
seems almost real; thus, quantity is subsituted for
quality. Of the lot of them, Mr. Dickens seems to 
have been the most restrained, only spenind a few
pages ot describe the yoke of a horse that is being
used to pull carriage. And while Flaubert may be
complemented on his accurate, if almost deadly
bore-ingly complete cataloging of Madam Bovary's
curtains, furnishings, appointments, etc. (One
rather gets the idea that he was a tax accessor
in a former life, and is appraising the estate of
wealthy dowager so as to harange every last
sou out of the old woman before release the probate
court restraint so that she can get on with her
life. On the other hand, (the third hand in
this leg of this discourse), concering Mr. Cooper
and his wondrously novel novels, my fellow literati
and crumudgeon Mr. Twain has far better dealt
with *that* estemed author of authentic and
accurate life in the old west. Or in the old
east, which shortly became "just the east".

But, seeing that I have never actually bothered to 
read any of the above mentioned authors' works
(with the exception of A Christmas Tale by
Mr. Dickens -- it being recomended to me by
a friend who for some strange reason thought
that it might put me in a better mood at Chirstmas
Time. In return, I gave them a copy of Thorstein
Veblen's "Theory of the Leisure Class" and wished
him a happy solstice.

Regardless, let me discuss the work of one 
Denis Diderot, the French encyclopediest, and
fellow agnostic/athiest. His literay talents were
tickled pink (if not pickled in brine) with the sudden
apperance of so many "literary" talents and the
abundence of this new plague known as THE 
NOVEL (probaly known in France as THE GREAT
FRENCH NOVEL, much as it is known here in the
and probably the scourage thrives in the most
remotest parts of the world, lord help the poor
savages; it was not enough that the white man
brought him disease, enslavement, degradation,
and relgion, but that we felt it necessary to bring
and THE GREAT IROQUOIAN NOVEL,  and so forth).

None-the-less, and less-than-daunted, Monsieur
Diderot took it upon himself write a scathing novel
called "Jacques the Servant and his Master". Not only
does Denis (pronunskiated "dennee") not tell us
the the master's name, but he thankfully refrains
from telling us of any childhood ailments that the
master or the servant, Jacques, had as youths
growing up in France. Indeed, M. Diderot shows 
such strength of character that we do not know 
where they were born -- for all the reader knows
they were born on the high seas, captured by 
Gypsies and found themselves in France. And having
nothing better to do became French; much preferable
to becoming an American these days. 

Regardless (as I recall the story) at one point in
the novel "JTSAHM" Diderot has them being rained
upon and says something like: "Now, since I am the
author of this novel, I could have them set upon by
thieves, or I could have them rest a bit by a tree and
Jacques would continue the story that he had been
realating earlier. However, none of these things
occured [or occurred for that matter], instead they
continued on down the road, and near dusk, they saw
the light of an Inn in the distance".

If only modern day novelests would take that singularly
brilliant and appropos bit of advice, I think that much of
the space used up in book shops, libraries and storage
cellars could be freed up for much more illustrious things.
For example, translations of Ooolon Couloufid's 20-volume
work on "Zen and the art of going to the Lavatory".

I would like to appologise (not for the above review of
the estemeed works of Flauber and Cooper -- to whom 
your present narrator was subjected to endless hours
of lecture, required reading for literature courses, and
tedious tests that asked what color was the wallpaper
was in Madam Bovary's Fourier. Instead, I want to 
appologise for all of the mis-spellings in this work, 
since the extraordinarily fine "computer version" of
dictionary/thesaurus was unable to give me the word
crumudgeinin or foyer was in no way helpful. 

Finally, I would recomend reading "Waiting for Godot"
as an alternative to the endless escapdes in the 
modern novel. Becket gets rather to the point in less
than 4 acts and with rather less scenery that would 
require only one word to describe it. That word can 
be chosen from any of the following:

ascetic, abstmious, barren, bleek, minimal, spartan

but rather less well by austere, simple, plain, frugal,
or self-denying.

(It was at this point, the some-what learned, and
most-certainly leaning scholar hobbled off of his soap
box, tripped over his cane, and mangaged to barely
miss falling face first into a near-by load of horse 
hockey, but upon pulling himself to his feet, and
then stooping to pick up his hat, he *did* fall
face first into the neighbouring equine emission.

-- peace always, Pizo.


Important works