Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Let's have a go at some Circus Boys!

The Circus Boys in Dixie Land: or, Winning the Plaudits of the Sunny South, that is!

Strangely, given its title, Circus Boys in Dixie Land (1912) contains neither jot nor tittle of Southern flavor--no dialect, no happy "darkies," no Kentucky Colonels, no Southern belles, nothing. The author, E.P. Darlington, must have been tired the afternoon he wrote it.

So a couple of quotes that have nothing to do with the South. They seem to be about Teddy, one of the Circus Boys. First quote from Chapter I, "Under Canvas Again":

I've been thinking of an idea, Mr. Sparling," said Teddy by way of changing the subject.

Phil glanced at him apprehensively, for Teddy's ideas often had consequences of a serious nature.

"Along the usual line young man?"

"Well, no."

"What is your idea?"

"I've been thinking that I should like to sign up as a dwarf for the rest of the season and sit on the concert platform in the menagerie tent. It wouldn't interfere with my other performance," said Teddy in apparent seriousness.

Mr. Sparling leaned back, laughing heartily.

"Why, you are not a dwarf."

"No-o-o. But I might be."

Against all evidence, Teddy thinks he's a dwarf!

Another quote, from chapter XX, "Disaster Befalls the Fat Lady":

The result was that Teddy sat down suddenly. Fat Marie sat down on him, and Teddy's yell might have been heard a long distance away. Those on the tail end of the circus train saw the collapse, then lost sight of the couple as the train rolled around a bend in the road.

Down the bank slid the Fat Woman, using Tucker as a toboggan, with the boy yelling lustily. Faster and faster did they slide.

No links on the soft-core, pervs. And why is she called "Fat Lady" in the chapter title and "Fat Woman" in the text, hmmm? There's a dissertation in there.

Update: Just noticed that you can submit a quiz on Circus Boys stuff at the Literature Network site. Here's a start (answers in parentheses):

1. Are the Circus Boys gay? (yes)

2. Is there anything wrong with that? (no)

That's all I could come up with.

Update II: Couldn't find a bio for Edgar E.P. Darlington, just the cryptic notation that his name was a "pseud for Grank Gee Patchin," which I find hard to believe.

Update III: Dr. Phil's got a head like an anvil, doesn't he?

Update IV: Yes, "Grank" Gee Patchin is a typo. Not mine. Still no bio, but Darlington/Patchin did write the Pony Rider Boys series as well.

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