Thursday, October 29, 2009
for the encouraging drinks and for keeping me from the razors that night at Robert Gottlieb Plimpton’s.”
“. . . the nearly all-red room on
Koitobos Road, the back garden on Eleventh Street, the low table in Dar-es-Salaam . . .”
If this isn’t enough to make you squirm with their private idiosyncrasy, try reading the acknowledgments by authors who thank the shack they once happened to write a chapter of their book in; they thank their hairdresser for making their life whole, which helps restore their self-esteem; they thank their editor for being a genius (God knows why); they thank somebody who’d given them the moral support during their writing, because “Without you I am a quivering bowl of Jell–O.” And if they express their gratitude to their agents, it’s because their agents’ names suggest clout and fame that they as author lack.
But every action in life has a counteraction. Not all authors write acknowledgments. Why? Ask Olin Shiver.
“Who should I thank?” he asked. “My so-called ‘colleagues,’ who laugh at me behind my back, all the while becoming famous on my work? My worthless graduate students, whose computer skills appear to be limited to downloading bitmaps off of netnews? My parents, who are still waiting for me to quit fooling around with computers, go to med school, and become a radiologist? My department chairman, a manager who gives one new insight into and sympathy for disgruntled postal workers? ”
Then something must have dawned on him.
“Oh, yes, the acknowledgments,” he said. “
I think when my book is published, I’ll borrow a line from
for my acknowledgments: “But first I'd like to thank my heartthrob, Petunia, for having the wisdom to love me, my parents, for giving me birth and all the people who just exist in my world. Oh yes, and Binky Urban just for the hell of it.” Dennis Loy Johnson
[Image from www.euroclubschools.org]