"Make him laugh and he will think you a trivial fellow, but bore him in the right way and your reputation is assured."
- Somerset Maugham
Christopher Buckley paraphrased this quote on NPR earlier this afternoon while I ate an apple in my car outside Starbucks in Fife while on my long-anticipated lunch break.
He was talking about eating puppies and chatting with some super-smart NPR guy about classic satirical movies and books, and people were calling in and talking about their favorites.
Eventually some lady called in and mentioned a book I had actually heard of: Breakfast of Champions. I like that book. A lot. So much so that I read it to Jack before he was even born. I even blogged about it.
Later in the conversation, Buckley mentioned that Vonnegut's book, Slaughterhouse Fife, still sells sixty or seventy thousand copies a year. (I wonder who is collecting those royalties these days.)
Vonnegut hated being labeled a Sci Fi author. Buckley doesn't like the label Humorist (he much prefers Satirist).
I wonder what people will label me after Paradise Squandered becomes a bestseller?
Hack, probably. :)
I wonder if people still use that term...