Tuesday, April 03, 2007

If I Have Made A Farthing . . .

Happy Literary Birthday to the great Washington Irving, author of Rip Van Winkle and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. Irving was born on this day in 1873, and was named after General George Washington, whom his parents particularly admired.

My favorite work by Irving is a story called "The Devil and Tom Walker." While it has the same folk tale tone as his other famous works, it delves more deeply into the notion of human corruption; Tom sells his soul for the sake of greed. When he famously says "The Devil take me if I have made a farthing," the Devil does.

As a morality tale, it's entirely satisfying.


Brian Farrey said...

"Sleepy Hollow" is my favorite of his pieces. I once volunteered to do a radio adaptation of it for my community theatre back in Wisconsin. We got Wisconsin Public Radio to agree to broadcast it. It had been some years since I read it and you can imagine my chagrin to crack it open and discover that there is not one lick of dialogue anywhere in the story. ANYWHERE. It was challenging (especially when the Headless Horseman is such a visual thing) but a fun adaptation.

Julia Buckley said...

That's really interesting. I didn't realize Irving had no dialogue at all in that story. I would have guessed it had a great deal!