Thursday, March 18, 2010

Think of a book without a most common ruling in its composition!

Phew! Attempting to write the above one sentence without the most commonly used alphabet in the English language- 'E' itself proved very tricky. Imagine an entire novel being written omitting that letter and yet making complete sense and avoiding any ambiguity in its storyline. That is exactly what Ernest Vincent Wright's novel "Gadsby: Champion of Youth" achieves. Written in the year 1939, the manuscript for this novel was entirely written with the E type-bar of the typewriter tied down thus making it impossible for that letter to be printed. It also served as an inspiration for other authors to write lipogrammatic books, including for the famous novel "A Void" by Georges Perec.

The masnuscript of this novel is available online at the following link:

The introduction by the author, preceding the story, provides an interesting insight on the evolution of the idea for this novel and fascinating snippets on achieving this seemingly impossible task. Not to take anything away from its plot- a truly enjoyable read!


Shibani said...

Happy Birthday, tnt! :) You're much loved and much missed from far away.


janaki said...

thanks shibs ! Being equally missed.