—about writing and publishing. This one, by Peter Rubie, is either called The Writer’s Market FAQ’s, if you believe the author’s website; Writer’s Market FAQ’s, if you believe Amazon; or Writer’s Market FAQs, if you look closely at an image of its cover. The book begins:
Why bother to write yet another book about publishing?Have I ever “mentioned” how much I “hate” superfluous “quotation marks” applied to “common” words and phrases? Give me fingernails on a chalkboard any day.
The best answer to that question actually starts with a poem:The grizzly bear is huge and wild, He has devoured the infant child.With the proliferation of computers and word-processing programs and a growing cult of “personality” authors making “big bucks,” it is tempting to think that publishing has become an easy avenue for making “quick” money while at the same time satisfying some latent creative urge. …
The infant child is not aware
He has been eaten by the bear.
INFANT INNOCENCE, by Ogden Nash
The real problem, though, is that that prominently quoted verse is not by Ogden Nash. It’s by A. E. Housman.
It’s hard to put your faith in a book that goes so wrong so fast. Not that you should; judging from the available excerpts, the rest of the work is slight, shallow, loosely written, not terribly accurate, and fractal with lacunae. Still, there’s something almost endearing about a first-page error of that magnitude.