Excerpt from The Best of S. J. Perelman: With a Critical Introduction
Accords old ladies on street cars, babies traveling unescort ed on planes, and the feeble-minded generally-it is impor4 tant to remember the crushing, the well-nigh intolerable odds under which the man has struggled to produce what may well be, in the verdict of history, the most picayune prose ever produced in America. Denied every advantage, beset and plagued by ill fortune and a disposition so crabbed as to make Alexander Pope and Dr. Johnson seem sunny by contrast, he has nevertheless managed to belt out a series of books each less distinguished than its predeces sor, each a milestone of bombast, conceit, pedantry, and strutting pomposity. In his pages proliferate all the weird grammatical flora tabulated by H. W. Fowler in his Mod em English Usage - the Elegant Variation, the Facetious Zeugma, the cast-iron Idiom, the Battered Ornament.
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