Who says “Biographer” is a low risk profession?

The Guardian was kind enough to publish the infamous poem concealing an insult against A.N. Wilson. Infantile as it may be, I cannot resist reproducing it below. Observers have cited the prank as childish, but whoever’s behind Eve de Harben (“Ever been had”) is genius, given the Trojan Horse nature of their gambit. And while Wilson has been criticized for being a purveyor of literary gossip, and is here the victim of literary gossip, the prank itself goes to show that works and the lives of writers cannot be entirely separate. And without further ado, the letter:

“Darling Honor, I loved yesterday.

All day, I’ve thought of nothing else.
No other love I’ve had means so much.

Was it just an aberration on your part, or will you meet me at Mrs Holmes’s again – say on Saturday?
I won’t be able to sleep until I have your answer.
Love has given me a miss for so long, and now this miracle has happened.
Sex is a part of it, of course, but I have a Romaunt of the Rose feeling about it too.
On Saturday we could have lunch at Fortt’s, then go back to Mrs H’s.
Never mind if you can’t make it then.

I am free on Sunday too or Sunday week.
Signal me tomorrow as to whether and when you can come.

Anthony Powell has written to me, and mentions you admiringly.

Some of his comments about the Army are v funny.
He’s somebody I’d like to know better when the war is over.
I find his letters funnier than his books.
Tinkerty-tonk, my darling.

I pray I’ll hear from you tomorrow. If I don’t I’ll visit your office in a fake beard.
All love, JB”

-Ed Scripsi

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Published in: on September 19, 2006 at 3:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

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