Classics and Commercials: A Literary Chronicle of the Forties

By Edmund Wilson | Go to book overview
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THE ANTROBUSES AND
THE EARWICKERS

THE Saturday Review of Literature of December 19, 1942, published an article by Joseph Campbell and Henry Morton Robinson asserting that Thornton Wilder's play The Skin of Our Teeth derives from James Joyce's Finnegans Wake. At the time this article appeared I had been concocting the following little parody, based on Book I, Chapter 6, of Joyce's book. I had had some correspondence with Wilder on the subject of Finnegans Wake, and I had intended to send him this as a joke. I did not, however, send it because I was afraid it might look as if it had been inspired by the invidious Saturday Review article. I did not approve of the tone of that article, but its principal contentions were true, and since they have generally been received with incredulity, I may as well produce my burlesque:

What pyorrheotechnical edent and end of the whirled in comet stirp (a) brings dionysaurus to Boredway yet manages to remain good bronx orpheus; (b) gave Jed harrors but made Mike meyerbold; (c) was voted a tallulahpalooza and triumpet allakazan by the waitups of the dramatical dimout; (d) stamps them bump, backs them bim, oils them in the bowels and rowels them in the aisles, causes them to beep buckups and sends them hope sobhappy; (e) adds a dash of the commedia deadhearty and a flicker of Fleerandello to the whoopfs of

-81-

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Classics and Commercials: A Literary Chronicle of the Forties
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