Friday, July 25, 2008

Where Harry Stephen Keeler got his ideas (such as they were).

"Harry Stephen Keeler . . . has a filing cabinet bursting with thousands of newspaper clippings, all of a sensational nature; and when a new novel impends he lifts out a dozen of these at random, stirs them in a hat, and selects four or five again at random. The final four (or five), whatever they may be, become the basis of the book." (from Vincent Starrett, Books and Bipeds [New York: Argus, 1947] 72)

Among the contributions Keeler gave us the never-to-be forgotten "flying strangler baby," a murderous midget disguised as an infant (see X. Jones--of Scotland Yard). For more pearls(?) from the Keeler oeuvre, check out the Harry Stephen Keeler Society Web site, including the "Random Keeler Plot Generator" and the winners(?) of the "Imitate Keeler Competition."

About the photo: Keeler Society mug featuring Keeler dustjackets.

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