How Prince Prigio was Deserted by Everybody

by John Holbo on October 26, 2004

Brian and Matt are quite right about this. “While others quiver with pre-election anxiety, their mood rising and collapsing with the merest flicker of the polls, he alone radiates certainty.” Whatever can be the point of writing such a stupid column on this theme?

In unrelated news, I’m sure, the invaluable Ray Davis has thoroughly Repressed a simply gorgeous online edition of Andrew Lang’s Prince Prigio.

Can you imagine anything more cruel and unjust than this conduct? for it was not the prince’s fault that he was so clever. The cruel fairy had made him so.

The story has a very wise moral.

UPDATE: Disappeared comment now appearing, but something is wonky with comments. Are other people having troubles?



John Davies 10.26.04 at 4:07 pm

It reads to me like every one on Maureen Dowd’s columns.

Why aren’t you criticizing her?


Rob 10.26.04 at 5:29 pm

Because it’s Tuesday. Dowd isn’t published on Tuesdays.


John Davies 10.26.04 at 10:33 pm

Well, alright then. Carry on.


Dan Simon 10.26.04 at 11:39 pm

Hey, at least he didn’t call for somebody to please assassinate David Broder.


bob mcmanus 10.27.04 at 1:17 am

I skipped to the end, and read the last chapter, but I just don’t understand the moral.

The blogosphere a very strange place to teach the virtues of intellectual self-effacement.

I likely have proved my first assertion with my second.

Did I mention that I wasn’t married?


jholbo 10.27.04 at 3:20 am

I should have called the post “Why I Am So Clever”, as I originally intended. (Brooks Zarathustra reference.) My point was just that the man seems oddly torn as to whether he wishes to appear clever or not. But really my point was just that Ray has produced a beautiful online edition of a funny book, with nice illustrations. And I wanted people to go see it.

As to Brooks and Dowd. You might say: Dowd bites man is hardly a story at this point. So man bits Dowd is not an appealing role in which to cast oneself. Brooks is on a steep slide into Dowdiness, which is still marginally newsworthy.

As to bob’s fair point about the blogosphere. It is true that Brooks has written something that is, in form, rather like the things I write. A twisty, semi-autobiographical, seriously ironical reflection about something that is possibly a reflection about nothing. But I don’t expect the NYT to put me on their op-ed page, where space is at a premium. There are times and places for everything. Blogs can be more baggy and indulgent and loping without the while thing looking inappropriate.

And if the NYT is going to publish stuff like this, they ought to insist that Brooks write only seriously very funny pieces like this. So say I.

Oh, and as to the wise moral of the story. I was being a bit ironic.


jholbo 10.27.04 at 4:37 am

Oh, NOW it shows up. We’ll just see whether this comment shows up, too. Just a test.


Ray Davis 10.27.04 at 3:16 pm

I’m glad you liked the edition, John, but I’m sorry: you’re wrong that it’s unrelated.

Bob, happily, readers who don’t understand the moral have no need to. It’s one of those “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it” deals.


jholbo 10.27.04 at 5:16 pm

Oh, I KNOW it’s related, Ray. I was being ironic when I said I was being ironic.

Now THAT’s cleared up.


bob mcmanus 10.27.04 at 6:17 pm

I was, of course, being ironic when I said I didn’t understand the moral, as anyone who understands the moral would have to be. It was the husband-and-wife stuff I didn’t understand, but that is nothing new. A beautiful edition of what looks to be a funny and clever story, which I would have finished, had I not gotten sidetracked by Captain Cook’s Tahitian.


Ray Davis 10.27.04 at 8:54 pm

And I, of course, was being ironic in both my paragraphs addressed to you. Ha! I pump most irony! I trump!

Assuming… um…. Guys? You weren’t being ironic in your replies, were you?

Oh, jeez. Forget it.

Bob, I also recommend Captain Slaughterboard’s Yellow Beast and Cap’n Pissgums’s Pervert Pirates as sidetrackers in these, our troubled times.

Comments on this entry are closed.