On Wassinger

Earlier today I received angry correspondence from someone-who-shall-remain-nameless, taking issue with the following line of a previous post: ‘one which readers of all nationalities can enjoy, as Wassinger personally oversees each and every foreign language edition of his work‘.

Georgy,’ read the letter, ‘you are, as ever, misleading‘. Why so? My irritated missive-scribbler charges me on two accounts. First: the small matter of enjoyment. ‘Wassinger’s project,’ claims my disgruntled denigrater, ‘is not something to be praised, even lightly. Interesting as it was in conception, it was roundly considered to be a failure when delivered. There was, in short, nothing to be enjoyed at all, save the sad spectre of an artist falling flat on his face (or should I say nose?)’

They go on to admit, however, that ‘this remains a tricky score to settle, being a question of personal preferences. No doubt you, Georgy, revelled in Wassinger’s wasteful wreckage of a work‘. This is not entirely true: I too had my reservations about the book, though I admired the audacity of the author’s intentions. I am willing, nonetheless, to concede aspects of the complainer’s closing point, as noted below.

You are at your bravest, but by no means your best, when you go on to discuss foreign language editions of Wassinger’s work,’ continues the disconcerted correspondent: ‘After all, as I’m sure you know full well, there were no foreign language editions of Wassinger’s work at all, just as there were no second editions either. The book was published once – and once only.’

Criticism taken. Allow me to defend myself, however, by reminding my readers that my words were (and are) much less misleading than they seem. In fact, I never claimed that were any (or is that were any?) foreign language editions: I merely wrote that ‘Wassinger personally oversees each and every foreign language edition of his work‘. As there were no foreign editions, it follows Wassinger had nothing to oversee. However, this is not to say that he wouldn’t have done this if given the opportunity – which, for all the talk of failure, may yet come.

I trust this makes some semblance of what we used to call sense.


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