Posts Tagged ‘o henry’

stephen_leacockChuck Palahniuk’s Rant was the last novel I had the pleasure of devouring. And that was nearly four months ago. Like Chinese food, I think literature too can get a bit redundant over a period of time. This morning as I was reading The Mutt, I stumbled upon the word “Peacock” in a quirky piece called BIC HOK TAM …and for obviously limmericky reasons, I got reminded of Canadian writer and humourist Stephen Leacock.

I first heard of Leacock during those years of utter boredom in Loyola College when Bertram Hall and its library gave me solace from the sociopathic monkeys I had to mingle with during class hours. Granted the Loyola library had more cobwebs per square metre than it had decent books, but still if one looked hard enough, a fantastically obscure piece of literature was always around the corner. I came across a collection of short stories titled Nonsense Novels by Stephen Leacock. Three days later, the Great Group Email Frenzy of 2000 began as I couldn’t help but copy and paste Leacock’s tremendously funny anecdotes on hotmail and send them to as many people as I could.

Not many people read Leacock these days. In fact, most of them are convinced that Hector Hugh Munroe is the funniest short story writer that ever was. Well, Saki’s short stories could dance circles around O’Henry any day of the week, but I would still consider them a work in progress when compared to Leacock’s archive. Not that it matters too much, but the titles of his stories are way more intriguing than any of Dog Fashion Disco song titles; unless someone is of the opinion that Valley Girl Ventriloquist sounds cooler than than Hellements of Hickonomics In Hiccoughs Of Verse Done In Our Social Planning Mill.

My Remarkable Uncle and Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town are my personal favourites, and Sorrows Of A Super Soul Or The Memoirs Of Marie Mushenough is probably the funniest short story ever written.

And muchos gracios to www.online-literature.com for having online copies of his Stephen Leacock’s works. You can read them here.

Wiki says a rumour spread in 1911 that said, “more people had heard of Stephen Leacock than had heard of Canada”…well, fast-forward to 2008 when public relations consultant Terry Fallis won the Stephen Leacock medal for a friggin’ political satire.

I guess, the world just isn’t funny as it used to be.

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