Broken Turtle Blog

Broken Turtle Blog

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Merely a Table of Contents

Below is the Table of Contents for my completed book, Valdemar's Corpse, about Delaware's secret literary history. It is more than a mere survey. It is a 106,491 word story of Delaware's literary legacy:

1. Introduction: Delaware’s 20th Century Griswold

2. John Lofland: Delaware’s First Literary Pariah

3. Two Articles by John Lofland While Living and Working in Baltimore

4. Lofland the Progressive

5. The Milford Bard and the Mysterious Woman of his Final Romance

6. Two Tales from the Novels of Robert Montgomery Bird;

“Searching for the Body of Sheppard Lee,” and,

“The Confession of Ralph Stackpole, Horse Thief”

7. Delaware Author George Alfred Townsend’s Novels about Slavery & Murder

8. George Alfred Townsend: Between Twain and Able

9. New Castle Hi-jinx; Charles Heber Clark’s Out of the Hurly-Burly

and Ella Middleton Tybout’s Poketown People

10. Henry Seidel Canby & Christopher Ward:

Forerunners of Wilmington’s 20th Century Literary Movement

11. The Novels of John and Mary Biggs and Poe’s Karma

12. Nothing Ends in Life: Mary Biggs’ Lily-Iron

13. The Great Gatsby’s Delaware Connection:

A Review of Gatsby, GATH, and Gault by David W. Meredith

14. Bunny, The Judge and The Last Tycoon

15. Anne & Dillwyn Parrish, And The Roles of the Interloper

16. James Whaler, Wilmington’s Most Successful 20th Century Poet

17. Haunted by Home: The Life and Works of Charles Wertenbaker

18. Boojum’s Books: Green Peyton’s

Black Cabin and Rain on the Mountain, and Other Stories

19. First Crash: The Earliest Literary Works of G. Peyton Wertenbaker

20. Victor Thaddeus' Unpublished Comic Opera, ‘ORRIBLE 'ARRY and THE COURT TIGER, and lost novella, LEO REX

21. Children in the Maelstrom: Two Post War Novels by Anne Parrish

22. Where Evil is Stronger Than Love: The Wartime Novels of Two Delaware Authors

23. The Patron Saint of Baynard Boulevard: A Personal View of the Life and Times of Wilmington Poet David Hudson

24. The Legacy of Delaware’s Poets and the Post World War II Poetry Movement

25. The Hoax Nobody Noticed

Sound interesting? Curious? Even if you might be interested or curious, you may never have the opportunity to read it. Valdemar's Corpse has been rejected by the University of Delaware Press twice, Oak Knoll Press twice, as well as by Greywolf Press and Schiffler Publishing Ltd. Most of it has been serialized in The Broadkill Review but not in sequence, so the "story" doesn't emerge. I don't even know how widely read those chapters have been. I can no longer afford to self publish. What should I do? Should I send files of the manuscript, along with selected pictures, to people who might be interested? I don't know who'd be interested or curious. Should I keep trying to find a publisher? How long will that take? I've done all this work and I'm really tired and sinking deeper into poverty. I'm frustrated that what I consider to be valuable information is not being made available, especially for the sake of discovery by others who never knew there was such a thing as a Delaware' secret literary history. Or should I conclude that no one's interested in past Delaware literary artists and give in to the prevailing amnesia? Could that be some reflection about the prevailing interest in current Delaware literature? Or should I conclude I've deluded myself with my own conceit, wasted my time, and just delete the file?


  1. Steven:

    Do any of the Delaware Museums such as the Biggs have publishing arms? Perhaps they could be swayed, cajoled, shamed or otherwise prodded.

    Do not delete. Nothing is wasted. In the end, however long that may be, if the powers-that-be aren't interested, you could maybe post a link here to a downloadable file. I can assure you that it will be downloaded.

    But I'd make a run at the museum folks first,or else see if you can drum up donations.
    There is a blues musician, Richard Johnston, who made a dvd & pre-sold copies to cover production costs. Once he had the thing made he sent out those copies & is now selling the rest. A lot of work, but another possibility so you're not shelling out loose $ that you do not have. Regardless, keep fighting the good fight,

    Jeffrey Little

  2. Jeffrey,

    Art Museums in Delaware don't have "publishing arms," especially the Biggs. The Delaware Art Museum has published book length projects in the past, but these have been more the exception than the rule. The biggest stumbling block, generally, is funding such publishing projects, especially nowadays.

    Don't worry, I won't delete the file. The notion of making a "pdf book" has crossed my mind, and I may end up doing that. My most recent extended fiction work is "published" in that medium and available at brokenturtlebooks, but sales for them have been ZERO, so I'm not that anxious to make anymore new work available. I have entertained the notion of cutting pdf copies of "Valdemar's Corpse" onto compact discs, including a fetching cover, to sell, but I haven't decided to do this. Another option is to make book formatted pdf copies available for free, much as I had for "The Wedgehorn Manifesto." However, I've become more and more of a bitter cynic the older I get, and giving it away for free, I feel, reflects the value that's placed upon my contribution. Finally I feel that if I had never made an effort to tell the story of Delaware's literary past, it would never have been missed. Few are interested or even curious.

  3. Say a species dies off that no one has ever seen. At some point, someone stumbles upon some relic, some trace of its existence, and it is studied, in however limited a fashion, but studied. What you have in your hands is the relic, the living history, and it is important even if no one at this time thinks it is. In fact, what you have is a double relic: that of the original authors, and the author who is trying to keep their work alive in the genome of a literature.

    It may be that this type of work in fundamentally recondite, or arcane, but that should not preclude its existence, or be its death knell. It doesn't make it any easier for you, but that's how I see it.