Well, let’s think of a few…
- Finnegan’s Wake, the novel by James Joyce has never been adequately interpreted. In other words, nobody can agree on what the novel is about!
- Ernest Hemingway was dared to write the shortest novel possible. It has six words and goes like this: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”
- The shortest story ever told was written by a Guatemalan author, Augusto Monterroso. “Cuando despertó, el dinosaurio todavía estaba ahí.” (Translated: “Upon waking, the dinosaur still lingered there.”
- Great Expectations, by Charles Dickens, used to have a downer ending. A friend of the author advised him to make it a happy ending in order to please more readers. It worked! That’s the novel we all read today.
- Cervantes wrote Don Quixote as two books. He had only written one, and a copycat “fanfic” sequel emerged. To get back at the fake author for stealing his idea, Cervantes resolved to write the second book, ten years after the first one was published. You might notice the tone of the second is more serious and philosophical than the farcial first book…
- Michel Dansel, a French author who hated verbs, wrote Le Train de Nulle Part (The Train from Nowhere) which is a FULL novel with no verbs!
- Goethe’s novel “The Sorrows of Young Werther” fueled one of the earliest manifestations of copycat suicides. Like the dejected lover, many young men not only wore the same clothes, but also shot themselves to escape their sorrow.
- Daisy Ashford, an English author, wrote her first novel, Mr. Salteena’s Plan, at age 9. She lost the whole manuscript, but rediscovered it when she was 36. She edited out the spelling mistakes and published a book that became quite a success. With a foreword by JM Barrie!
- Speaking of which, JM Barrie “invented” the name “Wendy” for the story of Peter Pan. (It’s actually short for Gwendolyn)
- The Bible is the world’s best-seller. Followed by Cervantes’ Don Quixote.