Apr 21, 2008

Blue Pencil #8: The Horrors of Love

Technical Note: Xlibris having successfully thrown me off by clever website shittiness, I have moved on to authorhouse.com -- a website much more friendly to this endeavor than Xlibris, technically speaking. Unfortunately for us, authorHouse is a bit higher-profile as well, meaning that a smaller percentage of the content is laughably bad. Luckily, that percentage is still in the high 90s.

For our first foray into authorHouse's library, I have chosen The Horrors of Love, by Jeanne E. McComsey, summarized thus:

Gravesend Castle; six hundred and sixty-six times more beautiful than Westminster Abby, stood openly in Romania’s countryside with an imperceptible cemetery-like quietness; soft breezes ruffled the trees around the lake; Wolves were sporting in the water and a cougar was nuzzling his yellow fur below a weeping-willow tree, Victor, the Vampire, was talking to the animals; "Tis nice in the early evening; is it not, boys?"
That; my friends; is a lot of semicolons.

I had to double-check here, but this is not listed as humor, so I can't help but imagine the thought process that would go into building Gravesend Castle.

"We're going to build a castle here, and it will be beautiful."
"More beautiful than Westminster, Victor?"
"Yes, Abby, six hundred and sixty-six times more beautiful!"
"I see what you did there."
"We'll plant weeping willows and import cougars from the New World!"
"Cougars? Seriously?"
"Yes, they will love it here. And a lake for the wolves."
"Oh, how they will sport! Ravish me, creature of the night!"
The sky was darkening so fast it bruised itself. Love promises us a world made beautiful, then struggles to transform each ugly thing, and in its struggle it grows neurotic, always dreaming of better things, like betrayal or a handsome fanged raucous deceiver of death.
Um. Okay. Miss McComsey is making it very difficult for me to write anything funnier than her prose. Now I'm pretty sure it's supposed to be comedy after all. But is the grammar supposed to be comical in and of itself, or did she get her commas and semicolons at a clearance sale?
Horsemen cantered around the castle’s five-block perimeter, chasing away tourists, bug-infested beggars and homeless tramp-children wearing burlap sacks.
Now I'm totally confused, but I have to say that "homeless tramp-children wearing burlap sacks" is a phrase that I am determined to find daily use for.
"Lift up your throat to my lips and welcome the treasured kiss of an infamous amorous lover, there’s no pain; the Horrors of Love permit me to drain your blood!" Victor went into his basement, preparing to jump into his coffin and keep the Blonde Assassin’s daylight faraway.
Nice segues: Homeless tramp children, Horrors of Love, shitty metaphor for the sun. I don't even know who Victor is talking to, by the way.
He slumbered unbreathing wrapped in luxury ... Victor; the ancient one; slept the hot days away like a dead thing. He kills not for sport or profit, but to live. He finds his wives in New York City and wow’s them deeply with bitter divine passion; then takes them home to live a rich life they never dreamed of, but, with his inborn obsession to hurt and maim, he’ll forever be a night creature; a walking nightmare who frightens souls, wives, heroes and the Gods with the unleashed mayhem he alone knows; it was secretly said he wrote poetry, traveled, and aimed for the stars ... he’d be a tad more human if it wasn’t for the fact he’s related to the most dangerous beast ever; CERBERUS: the three-headed dog that guards the Gates of Hell!
Holy shit. It's ... it's the longest, worst-punctuated run-on sentence I have ever read. It hurts! Make it stop!

So I guess this is modern day, based on the pesky tourists and periodic wife-shopping in the Big Apple. Maybe an "About the Author" section will reveal that this is an intentional farce, with bad grammar used to wink at the reader slyly, letting one know that Miss McComsey is in on the joke. Ah yes:
Throughout my three year love affair with Victor the Vampire; and him, disappearing into the pleasures-unto-death, all I recall is the madness of the moonlight! He’s now orbiting through centuries in long deep sleeps ... is it permanent or am I nightmaring? Victor and I cared nothing about savoring memories, and now my hand is writing the real thing; He loved his life but I saw it as THE HORRORS OF LOVE. I loved more the terrible deaths and births occurring in his life; I even treasured the red spittle on his sharp teeth, it was the foam of love; he told me! But this can’t be true ... because I was never loved.
So much for that theory. I note here that this is McComsey's fifth book, so the idea that practice makes perfect clearly doesn't apply to punctuation. Browsing some of her other selections, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see them appear here at some point.

Note to self: Remember to use the phrase "Foam of Love" when conversation gets dull.

1 comment:

Genesis said...

"chasing away tourists, bug-infested beggars and homeless tramp-children wearing burlap sacks" - sounds like a typical day at the library.