132. Le Traitement Superbe -
Le Traitement Superbe - ‘Myles na Gopaleen’ (Flann O’Brien)(Brian O’Nolan)
‘Book-handling’, as offered to interested parties by the Irish columnnist Myles no Gopaleen, is ‘a new service which enables ignorant people who want to be suspected of reading books to have their books handled and mauled in a manner that will give the impression that their owner is very devoted to them’.
As part of ‘LeTraitment Superbe’, the most expensive form of the service, ‘suitable passages in not less than fifty percent of the books are to be underlined in good quality red-ink, and appropriate phase from the following list inserted in the margin’—
How true, how true!
I don’t agree at all
Yes, but cf. Homer, Od., iii, 151
Well, well, well
Quite, but Bossuet in his Discours sur l’histoire Universelle has already established the same point and given much more forceful explanation.
A point well taken!
But why in heaven’s name?
I remember poor Joyce saying the very same thing to me
In addition ‘not less than six volumes are to be inscribed with forged messages of affection and gratitude from the author of each work, e.g.’—
‘To my old friend and fellow writer, A. B., in affectionate remembrance, from George Moore.”
‘In grateful recognition of your great kindness to me, dear A.B., I send you the copy of ‘The Crock of Gold, Your old friend James Stephens.”
‘Well, A.B. both of us are getting on. I am supposed to be a good writer now, but I am not old enough to forget the infinite patience you displayed in the old days when guiding my young feet on the path of literature. Accept this further book, poor as it may be, and please believe that I remain, as ever, your friend and admirer, G. Bernard Shaw’
‘From your devoted friend and follower, K. Marx’
‘Dear A. B.,—Your invaluable suggestions and assistance, not to mention your kindness, in entirely re-writing chapter 3, entitles you, surely, to this first copy of “Tess”, From your old friend T. Hardy.
’Short of the great pleasure of seeing you personally, I can only send you dear A.B., this copy of “The Nigger”. I miss your company more than I can say . . . (signature undecipherable).’
Under the last inscription, the moron who owns the book will be asked to write (and shown how if necessary) the phrase ‘Poor old Conrad was not the worst.’