The insured loneliness, the invisible library
I. In the NYT—would this count as a volume in the Invisible Library?
In a bookcase in a dark hallway there is another book, not well known like the others. In fact, it is unclear whether anyone other than its author has ever read “Where Yesterday Began.”
Ms. Macefield paid to have her novel published in 1994, under the pen name Domilini. It is set against the backdrop of post-World War I Europe.
An introductory page begins, “This story is for all those who have ever loved — truly, deeply, irrevocably — and in the thrust of disaster. For some, love simply dies — and one moves on. But for a few, love is as lasting as the ages — despite the impossibilities, the separation, the insured loneliness.”
The book is 1,138 pages long, not counting the musical references, from Scottish folk songs to a 1915 work by the English composer Albert W. Ketelbey, and a 16-page glossary of the French, German and Italian phrases sprinkled throughout. “I think it was kind of a love story,” said Mr. Peck, the longtime friend. “I never did read it.”
The book is dedicated to “B. Robert Aigner, M.D.,” with no explanation why. Reached by phone at his home in a Seattle suburb, Dr. Aigner, 80, said he remembered Ms. Macefield was a patient, but nothing more.
Dr. Aigner, a neurologist, was amazed and amused that Ms. Macefield would have dedicated her ambitious work to him. He had never heard of it.“I have no idea what I was treating her for,” he said.
[Ed. note: Among the works of Harry Stephen Keeler are several dedicated to various physicians.]
II. Dzyd Sarah W. mentioned Keeler in her latest Dark Passages column (looking at pan-Asian crime fiction) at the LAT:
Several novels by Harry Stephen Keeler involve Asian characters or settings but are remembered less for them than for the author's wildly pyrotechnic writing style.
III. Meanwhile, my current Astral Weeks column has been completed—but you can't read it yet! I don't know why! Clicking through gets you to a Page Not Found. (The invisible article?)
UPDATE (IV): Who is the winner of the 2008 honorary Harry Stephen Keeler character award?