kipple

Stamps are probably the worst kind of kipple there is. (Walther F. Lake)

EDGAR WALLACE

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EDGAR-WALLACE_THE-CASEFILES-OF-MR-J-G-REEDER1000

Wallace narrated his words onto wax cylinders (the dictaphones of the day) and his secretaries typed up the text. This may be why he was able to work at such high speed and why his stories have narrative drive. Many of Wallace’s critically successful books were dictated like this over two or three days, locked away with cartons of cigarettes and endless pots of sweet tea, often working pretty much uninterrupted in 72 hours. Most of his novels were serialised in segments but written in this way. The serialised stories that were instead written piecemeal have a distinctly different narrative energy, not sweeping up the reader on the story wave.

Wallace rarely edited his own work after it was dictated and typed up, but sent it straight to the publishers, intensely disliking the revision of his work with other editors. The company would do only cursory checks for factual errors before printing.

Wallace faced widespread accusations that he used ghost writers to churn out books, though there is no evidence of this, and his profligacy became something of a joke, the subject of cartoons and sketches. His ‘three day books’, reeled off to keep the loan sharks from the door, were unlikely to garner great critical praise and Wallace claimed not to find literary value in his own works.

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september 5th, 2014 at 8:00 am

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