Saturday, June 28, 2008

Christopher Morley spoofs Henry James.

"Thorncliff was thinking, as he crossed the, to him, intolerably interwoven confusion of Market Street, that he had never--unless it was once in a dream which he strangely associated in memory with an overplus of antipasto--never consciously, that is, threaded his way through so baffling a predicament of traffic, and it was not until halted, somewhat summarily, though yet kindly, by a blue arm which he after some scrutiny assessed as belonging to a traffic patrolman, that he bethought himself sufficiently to inquire, in a manner a little breathless still, though understood at once by the kindly envoy of order as the natural mood of one inextricably tangled in mind and not yet wholly untangled in body, but still intact when the propulsive energy of the motortruck has been, by a rapid shift of gears and actuating machinery, transformed to a rearward movement, where he might be and how."

-- Christopher Morley, "Market Street, as Certain Eminent Travelers Might Have Described It," Travels in Philadelphia (1921), 125-26. Photos: Christopher Morley (top) and Henry James, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

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