“Have you?”

July 20, 2009

19. ET VOUS?

On dit qu’Alexandre Dumas n’est pas l’auteur de plusieurs romans qui portent sa signature. Un jour il rencontra son fils et lui dit: “Eh bien, que penses-tu de mon dernier roman? l’as-tu lu?” — “Non, je ne l’ai pas lu, mon père, et vous?” répondit Alexandre Dumas fils dont la réputation pour l’esprit est bien connue et bien méritée.

—from Short Stories for Oral French,
Anna W. Ballard
(New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1912), p. 24

*

Certain novels by their covers claim Alexandre Dumas as their author—but in fact it is rumored, gossiped about, spread far and wide that, because his reliance upon assistants and collaborators was extensive, he had not written a single one of these books on his own. One day, on his way to the market, or perhaps the press, or let’s say his lover’s cottage—it is hard to pinpoint, with these false authors (alleged, alleged)—Dumas came upon his son, also named Alexandre and also a writer (though distinguished as “Junior”), and because Senior had recently published a new novel, or rather the latest novel bearing his name was recently published, he said to the young Alexandre, his Junior: “Well? Have you read it, my Junior? Tell me what you think.”

Answered Junior: “No, my father who shares my name but not my pursuit of Truth—no, I haven’t read a word of it. Have you?”

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2 Responses to ““Have you?””

  1. lucas green Says:

    Oh god. Is this going to be a series? Because if so, I am going to, and already, love it.

    V. exciting.

    • wmc Says:

      Yes: When I saw this gem of a book ($1, too-musty smell), I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it. I love such instant connection.


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