Adam Gopnik’s excellent article on H. G. Wells in a recent New Yorker contained a brief passage that made me reach for a note.

Wells’s elevation was made easier by the booming press of the time. P. G. Wodehouse, who was, improbably, a good friend of Wells’s, recalled, “There were so many morning papers and evening papers and weekly papers and monthly magazines that you were practically sure of landing your whimsical article on ‘The Language of Flowers’ or your parody of Omar Khayyám somewhere or other after about say thirty-five shots.”

After a day spent running after various bits and bobs on the internet and wondering whether anyone other than the author had read them before hitting “Publish,” it strikes me that the only difference between now and then is that then, one could actually make a living at it.

A whimsical parody of Omar Kayyám would have made a nice change.

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