Wednesday, 7 February 2007

SPEECHLESS

Facing up to the challenge of writing a daily blog really does get to be somewhat exhausting: first you have to find a topic about which to WRITE and then you have to find something to SAY on that topic!

I increasingly feel that my efforts can be best summed up in the words of Ambrose Bierce's savage review of a public lecture given by Oscar Wilde during the Irish aesthete's visit to San Francisco in 1882.

Bierce, who was compiler of that satanic masterpiece, The Devil's Dictionary, wrote of the precious Oscar:
"That sovereign of insufferables, Oscar Wilde has ensued with his opulence of twaddle and his penury of sense. He has mounted his hind legs and blown crass vapidities through the bowel of his neck... He has tossed off the top of his head and uttered himself in copious overflows of ghastly bosh. The ineffable dunce has nothing to say---- and SAYS IT!"

So, there you have it - in a nutshell...



...when in doubt --- blog about nowt!

[Caricature of Oscar Wilde by David Levine; blog cartoon: Gaping Void]

5 comments:

Scrooge said...

A suitably unpleasant comment there but then what would one expect from a horror writer and someone cursed with the name Ambrose ! There can't be too many of them around afterall. The only other one I can think of without googling is one of the Gunpowder plotters Ambrose Rookwood.Perhaps the name is doomed to disaster. Anyway Mr B, for saying nothing and saying it so eloquently, we all heartily thank you ! Our days would be less enjoyable without you at the start of them !

Brian Sibley said...

Well there was a SAINT AMBROSE, sometime Bishop of Milan, who was, by all accounts, an all-round good guy -- hence getting his sainthood!

As for Bierce ('Bitter Bierce' as he was sometimes called) his naming was the result of a strange quirk of parental humour.

His eccentric father, Marcus Aurelius Bierce, sired thirteen children all of whom were given names beginning with the letter 'A' and Ambrose happened to be tenth in line: Abigail, Amelia, Ann, Addison, Aurelius, Augustus, Almeda, Andrew, Albert, AMBROSE, Arthur, Adelia and Aurelia.

Anyway, he may not have warmed to dear Oscar, but they were both men were masters of the bon mot and Bierce's brilliant 'An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge', is surely one of the all-time great short stories...

Suzanne said...

And then there's ambrosia - food of the gods... nothing to be cursed there...
Anyway, if Mr Wilde has never had anything to say, I shall listen to him say nothing with the greatest pleasure...

Scrooge said...

'That Damned Thing' was always my favourite of the short stories. I grew up in the days of Pan compilations where HP Lovecroft, Bierce and Poe rubbed shoulders with contemporary writers like the brilliant but underrated R Chetwynd Hays

Brian Sibley said...

Ah, those wonderful Pan Horror anthologies - with their black covers decorated with beastly creatures - what monstrous delights they contained!

Another underrated (probably now forgotten) author they introduced me to was Algernon Blackwood...

D'you know, I think I've still got those books, somewhere: I expect the pages will have turned brown and brittle by now, but I MUST go and look them out...