Sunday, June 10, 2007

Dedication to the one I love/hate/did not get preggers

Thanks to Sarah Weinman's always sensational Sunday Round Up of items on her Confessions of An Idiosyncratic Mind I happened upon the following article from the London Sunday Telegraph::

Authors agonise over their dedication as it is the most revealing page in the whole book, says Edward Docx

"There are some novelists who will tell you that it's the characters or the plot that cause all the trouble, or the research, or the pacing, or managing point of view, or controlling tone; but you would do better not to believe them. All of these are exasperating. But the thing that really screws you up is the dedication.

"The book may be good, bad or both, but once it is finished you can dodge it, stand by it, disown it, move on, say you did or didn't mean it, point out that you made it up, insist that it has nothing to do with you or anything that has happened in the past. The dedication, on the other hand, is where you have to say exactly what you mean. The dedication is where you can balls up the rest of your life."

Ed here:


The toughest dedications for me come when a book is reissued ten, twenty years out from its original publication. God alone knows how you're feeling these days about the person you dedicated it to. back then

To my wonderful wife Nadia

Did you have to get a restraining order
against me and humiliate me in front of
the whole bowling team?

-- To my all-time favorite editor Cliff Knotes,
one of the most decent, perceptive people
I've ever known.

Remember when you wouldn't give me a contract
for the novel that went on to win the Edgar, the Shamus,
the Anthony and the Donald Trump Humanitariun awards?
No wonder you raced out of the Edgar banquet as soon as
my name was announced. I woulda been ashamed, too.

-- Dedicated to Alfred E. Noonan the finest friend and
and collaborator a writer could ask for.

You sonofabitch, you got lucky with that punch you threw last
time I saw you in Chicago. Next time I'm putting you right
where you belong--right on your fat ass..

1 comment:

pattinase (abbott) said...

This is an issue I had never considered. And what about those people who have died in the interim? Should you waste good space thanking them? I vote that you have all the freedom you had the first time out if you're lucky enough (and good enough) to get a second go at it.