There is another world, but it is in this one.

Paul Eluard. Œuvres complètes, vol. 1, Gallimard, 1968.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The World of S.J. Pereman

The World of SJ Perelman: The Marx Brother's Greatest Scriptwriter



Perelman's prose is mirthful and completely confident.

Whether writing about the Broadway fiasco Cherry Flip, or the sorrows and miseries of getting a barn painted, he is in command and delighted to recount something to delight the reader.

Just a taste:

“To the Editor:—My students tell me that surgeons have been able to transplant the stomach from an animal, as a calf or a goat, into man. Is this possible?— N.B.Z., Kansas.”

I can sympathize with the poor fellow for I, too, get the same sensation when I drink black velvet. Actually, it only feels as if you had changed stomachs with a goat. One morning I even woke up convinced that I had swallowed a marble the night before. To make it worse, a man named Mr. Coffee-Nerves was standing over my bed in a white Prince Albert, helping me to hate myself. I got up and went right through him to the bathroom where I had a long look at my chest. At first I couldn’t tell whether it was a steelie or a bull’s-eye, but it turned out to be a clear glass agate with a little lamb inside. I managed to dissolve my marble with two aspirins in a glass of hot water. But thank God I’m no hypochondriac; you don’t catch me writing letters to the American Medical Association....

--The Body Beautiful

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