Ten Literary Rumors I’d Like To Start

In honor of my friend Ron Gullekson‘s blog post, “Ten Rumors I’d Like To Start,” let me offer my bookish version:

  1. The last poem written by Robert Frost — which, at the request of his family, has never been published — was a lamentation on the prostate troubles that eventually took his life, titled “I Sit A Certain Painful Way.”
  2. The codex, that binding of stacked paper which replaced the scroll as the standard format of printed text, was first devised by the Greeks as pornographic flip books depicting acts of pederasty.
  3. The derivation of LOL from “laughing out loud” is a folk etymology.  Ancient Romans inserted these letters into their writing after humorous statements to indicate “Laudant Omnes Levitatem” meaning “everyone praises levity!”
  4. Honoré de Balzac was actually a baudily satirical character invented by Oscar Wilde.
  5. John Franzen staged his infamous feuds with Oprah and Jodi Picoult (à la Andy Kaufman and Jerry Lawler).
  6. Before working out any of the details of his latest work-in-progress, Dan Brown first pens the opening and closing sentences for each chapter.
  7. Tests performed in 1986 on Emily Dickenson’s exhumed remains indicate that the reclusive poet was a functional hermaphrodite.
  8. C. S. Lewis injected Santa Claus into The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe on a dare from Tolkien, who then balked on his promise to make Krískringül the name of Aragorn and Arwen’s child.
  9. Catcher In The Rye author J. D. Salinger secretly participated in NaNoWriMo under the pseudonym Sally Jade from 2004 until his death in 2010.
  10. An obsessive loner named Dick Baxter dropped out of his creative writing program in 1974, then mysteriously vanished during a visit to Maine in 1975, two years before Stephen King began publishing his controversial Richard Bachman novels.

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