Tag Archives: The Unstrung Harp

The Unspeakable Horror of the Literary Life

The Unspeakable Horror of the Literary Life

The night before returning home to Mortshire, Mr. Earbrass allows himself to be taken to a literary dinner in a private dining room of Le Trottoir Imbécile. Among his fellow-authors, few of whom he recognizes and none of whom he knows, are Lawk, Sangwidge, Ha’p’orth, Avuncular, and Lord Legbail. The unwell-looking gentleman wrapped in a greatcoat is an obscure essayist named Frowst. The talk deals with disappointing sales, inadequate publicity, worse than inadequate royalties, idiotic or criminal reviews, others’ declining talent, and the unspeakable horror of the literary life.

— from Edward Gorey’s The Unstrung Harp; or, Mr. Earbrass Writes a Novel  (1953)