Suspend Your Disbelief

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Mr. Dickens regrets he's unable to lunch today

It would be criminal not to link to this great Dickens anecdote, as told on Terry Teachout’s blog; for the whole story, pick up a copy of Jane Smiley’s Charles Dickens (a Penguin Lives Biography).

Can anyone think of a kinder way to phrase Dickens’ letter, which justifies breaking a social engagement in order to write? I’ve often longed to say something like this; hell, maybe the key to prolificacy is not worrying about the “kinder” bit.

Teachout’s response:

I like to think that after firing this off, Dickens burst into tears, then got on the computer and played Web Sudoku for an hour.

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