Not a leg to stand on

Dalrymple’s latest contribution to the New Criterion began with an unusual request in a second-hand bookstore:

I picked out a couple of slender volumes by Henley and Davies, and then asked the owner whether he knew of any other poets with wooden legs whose work I could buy. Not altogether surprisingly he said that he had never been asked that before; he might even have been a little nervous of me at first…I soothed the bookseller’s anxieties a little by pointing out that, if literature can be classified as black or white, heterosexual or homosexual, colonial or post-colonial, why could it not also be classified by the number of its author’s legs?

2 thoughts on “Not a leg to stand on

  1. GQ

    The good doctor pays no attention to the fact that Davies calls the fighting sparrows in his poem “angry birds.” I find that amusing.


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