Monday, April 13, 2009

Accidental literary masterpieces (if there's such a thing)

If only for A Clockwork Orange, we'll forgive the comb-over, Mr. Burgess.

This website came out with a list of 6 writers who "accidentally" managed to write their masterpieces. I'm not sure whether accident is the best word to use here, but if the writer wants to emphasize that the 6 authors didn't intend to come up with "life-changing" and "genre-defining" works, then perhaps the use of "accident" is warranted. (I apologize for the numerous quotes in this paragraph. One writer puts it that quotes are like condoms for stupid words. I love it!)

Here's a rundown of the list:

  • Hunter S. Thompson - Wrote Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas while covering a dirt bike race for Rolling Stone. I haven't read the book nor seen the movie. But since it's easier to download the movie than to search for that novel in our local bookstores, I'd probably end up watching Terry Gilliam's film adaptation.
  • Lewis Carroll - Probably got ideas for Alice in Wonderland from looking at pictures of naked girls. (It adds new meaning to John Mayer's "Your Body Is a Wonderland," doesn't it? Hihihihi.)
  • Anthony Burgess - Was inspired by his wife's being assaulted by a group of AWOL American G.I.s to write A Clockwork Orange.
  • Franz Kafka - Never intended his works to get published. Fortunately for us, the person who was supposed to burn his works as Kafka instructed him published all his unfinished novels anyway. I think that if you really want to destroy your works, you should do it yourself. How hard can it be to press that delete button?
  • Mary Shelley - Wrote Frankenstein when she was just 19 years old as a result of being bored challenged by Lord Byron. Because of the weather when they Shelleys were visiting Byron's manor, Byron invited the couple (Mary and her husband, the poet Percy Shelley) to a scary story contest. Rumor has it that Byron, Mary, and Percy engaged in a threesome that night.
  • William Shakespeare - Was in it only for the money.