Edmund Lester Pearson: Edwin Drood Again

Отправлено 8 февр. 2017 г., 07:25 пользователем Sven Karsten   [ обновлено 8 февр. 2017 г., 07:26 ]

 FATALITY has pursued the amateur novelists who have written continuations of Dickens's "The Mystery of Edwin Drood." Four writers have tried it, and their failures have been complete and rather ignominious. A humorist once confessed, in a newspaper rhyme, that he owned a pen which once had belonged to Thackeray. When he tried to write with it, however, not only did no inspiration come, but the pen sputtered and scratched, and actually refused to form words! It had recognized, he thought, a donkey, trying to imitate its master.

No expert novelist has ever tried to finish "Edwin Drood," in spite of the widespread notion that Wilkie Collins engaged in such an attempt. Scores of solutions have been offered, in the form of essays and articles, and two or three plays (one of them by Comyns Carr) enjoyed brief runs. The volumes bringing the story to an end are four, according to Mr. J. Cuming Walters, author of the interesting book, "The Complete Mystery of Edwin Drood." Mr. Walters was the prosecuting attorney in the mock trial held in London last January, when he failed to convict Jasper of murder in the first degree for killing Drood. The first continuation appeared the very year of Dickens's death—1870. It was by "Orpheus C. Kerr" (Richard H. Newell), and is said to be mainly burlesque and parody.

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