Monday, June 22, 2009
Seriously, why would anyone need to read novels when there's stuff like this to be had right in the newspaper? Just a few more of the overwrought and melodramatic correspondences I've come across. Here's the text:
Mademoiselle H. - I rejoice in having found a friend in whom I can confide. The information in regard to the real character and motives of the lady in question has saved me from a life of future misery and degradation. Henceforth I shall regard you as my Saviour. You may expect an interview at the hour appointed. P---P---S.
Waiting - His is guilty censorship. He never was true to you, even in the one respect. I sent you authentic particulars long ago. Every concession will bring you fresh insult.
Y.K. - For God's sake, see me at the same place and time. I expected you yesterday. My dear darling, remember what I always told you. I have a heap to tell you: more than I ever told you. TEN.
Man I love these! It's too bad because when it comes down to my work, they're all superfluous. One or two are useful as examples when I'm writing, but, sadly, my dissertation can't just be a list all the thousands of fabulous ads I've found. Thus, I blog. For now.
But really, don't they read like novels? "P--P--S" seems to be borrowing straight from an Alexandre Dumas book, down to the use of the French "Mademoiselle." The second one - I'm not sure what the writer means by "his is guilty censorship," but otherwise the the ad seems pretty clear. And finally, "Ten." I am going to give him (I get the feeling he's a man, but who knows) a pass for his confusing and repetitive ad since he was obviously so upset. I wonder what happened? He must have been pretty desperate to write such a note in the personals knowing that thousands of people might be reading it for entertainment.
It's terrible, really, the amount of time I spend trying to imagine the circumstances that led to these intrigues and mysteries. And I'll bet anything that contemporary readers would gladly substitute the personals column for a novel any day. After all, they're real (or at least everyone assumed they were real). Doesn't that beat fiction any time?
Having trouble reading the ads? Click one to enlarge!
©2009 Pam Epstein