The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure
Sure, you’ve heard of all the greatest works of literature: the Russian epics, the Shakespearean tragedies, the disillusioned post-war American classics. But have you ever considered the great works you’ve never seen? The Biographical Dictionary of Literary Failure is a tribute, an encyclopedia of all the unsung classics of literature that might’ve been, or perhaps actually were, but that nobody saw. Whether burned, lost, destroyed, eaten, or never started to begin with, these are the missing classics that civilization has been denied over the centuries. Some were cursed by outstanding first lines that couldn’t be followed, others were sued for defamation, their copies destroyed by court order. From language barriers to vanishings by a foreign government, these aren’t tall tales or jokes; these are real stories from ambitious writers whose ambitions were thwarted.
Although there’s a touch of schadenfreude to the endeavor, for the most part, this is all in good fun, bringing to light the other end of the creative spectrum, and giving a long overdue spotlight to some potential icons. You may not have heard of some of these authors before, but trust me, you’ll always remember them after.
C. D. Rose, with an introduction by Andrew Gallix