Thursday, April 03, 2008

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 1783, 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.

2 comments:

Picks By Pat said...

Great portrait of the artist. I personally favor his History of New York, but anything Irving wrote is worth reading. Nice tribute!

Julia Buckley said...

Thanks, Pat. I've never read the History, but I really should.