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Blupete's Weekly Commentary


September 10th, 2000.

"Attention; Or, How To Get It."

"I met a lady one year in Switzerland who had some parrots that always traveled with her and were the idols of her life. These parrots would not let anyone read aloud in their presence, unless they heard their own names introduced from time to time. If these were freely interpolated into the text they would remain as still as stones, for they thought the reading was about themselves. If it was not about them it could not be allowed. The leaders of literature are like these parrots; they do not look at what a man writes, nor if they did would they understand it much better then the parrots do; but they like the sound of their own names, and if these are freely interpolated in a tone they take as friendly, they may even give ear to an outsider. Otherwise they will scream him off if they can." (Samuel Butler.)

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Peter Landry

September, 2000 (2011)