Friday, March 13, 2009

With Many Thanks to my Two Cats ...

The Acknowledgments page cannot make a bad book better, but it can ruin a good one.
Jonathan Black reckons in The American Spectator [via and via] :
Did I say "page"? Section is more like it. Names upon names. Artists' colonies. Intrepid editors. Copy editors. Mentors. Foundations. Librarians. The upstairs neighbor. Research assistants. Personal assistants. People who read drafts. The mom who sparked the great endeavor. The dad who would have been proud. The agent, brilliant and prescient, as well as the best friend any writer could have. Speaking of friends…who are all these people? How many drafts did the author circulate? Isn't writing supposed to be a grim and lonely pursuit?

And finally—drum roll, please—the spouse. Longsuffering, dreams of medical school up in smoke. These husbands and wives are saints! In a writer's darkest hour, when the black dog descends, they're toting laundry and hunting for typos. Never will they cry, "Harold, for God's sake, another year? What about the landscaping? What about Maudie's tuition?" Not all spouses, it need be noted, survive the second or third printing, let alone the paperback version. The dedication to "my fantastic wife and children" morphs into "For my family." The soul mates and life companions move on, optimistically to other writers, to be crowned again with syrupy praise.
A wonderful list of book dedications can be found archived on the McSweeney's website. William F.E. Morley spent years making a collection of those he considered particularly amusing or clever Here are some classic ones :
Gothic Birdhouses, Feeders and Baths

"This book is dedicated to my children, Robin and Jay, who, like little birds, will soon spread their wings and fly, fly away. May you soar unshackled away, away. Fear not the hunter's blast."

The Moldova Lonely Planet Hiking Guide

"My dear Brendan, upon every hillock, atop every spire, below the darkened skies, your image was my faithful companion during my long journey into this Bessarabia. It was, indeed, the most faithful you've ever been."

The Unauthorized Rod Steiger Companion

"Ahh! Peerless and misconstrued, inimitable Rod Steiger. You were the contender, you were the heat of the night, you made Amityville much less horrible. Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry, for surely God will take you out in his surrey. Oh yes, my friend, the one with the fringe on top. "

Telephone Triage Protocols for Nursing Assistants

"To the family of Steven Hofford, words cannot express my deepest regret. Please accept this training manual as proof that I will not rest until every nursing assistant understands that patients rarely make jokes about life-threatening emergencies over the telephone."

Housebreaking for Sugar Gliders

"Sara. Tiny packages often contain great love. Tiny packages sometimes leak their contents upon the rug of life. Tiny packages rarely withstand angry feet. I forgive you."
Just for fun, why not write the dedication for your novel (the one that hasn't been written yet) and post it in the comments!


Baronhawk said...

Into The Mind of A Hermit

"Another attempt to wax lyrical, and an explanation of sorts. To all those those have suffered, from what my internal escapades had wrought. In the least the royalty from this, will help me make amends with gifts. To make up for forgotten birthdays, well wishes and friendship's kiss"

Jane Sunshine said...

To my agent for believing in this book more than I did and to my publishers for taking the chance with such an off-beat idea. To Green & Black chocolates and 24 hour Tescos (for wines and cheese consumed). For providing routine to a writer’s rambling day, Channel 4 and its slew of random afternoon movies, Richard & Judy and Jonathan Ross. The husband for laundry, garbage, cooking and cleaning duties. Thank you, wouldn’t have been able to have done it without you.

*now there is the small matter of writing the damn thing

bibliobibuli said...

brilliant, you guys! can i place an advanced order?

Anonymous said...

Nort exactly a dedication but :

Life sucks and then you die, but in the meantime you write.

Anonymous said...

It suddenly seemed to me that a married, young (30ish), too-ugly-for-literature Malaysian Chinese male writer living in the country would be ultimate proof that love exists in the world.