Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Throb of Tom-Tom Cats!

Here's a wonderful advertisement from Womrath's bookstore, intended to convince us that READING about stuff is more exciting that actually EXPERIENCING it. They make a strong case for the joy of delightful puns and alliteration, at least...
Ankles aweigh! All abored the SS. VAN DINE...sailing to darkest Boop-a-Doop...land of mystery and philovances. Star-drenched daze. Sunkist knights. Drone of dramaturgic dromedaries...drowse of drastic dhuhinkies. Lots of good fellahs. Oil-burning cannibals...ready to take pot-luck with missionaries. Pooh yourself! More fun to stay home...
The advertisement mentions fiction, travel, biography, and history, so I suppose the dense wordplay is meant to evoke all those things: the mystery books of Philo Vance, the "darkest Africa" travel literature, Hollywood biographies, and...whatever "dhuhinkies" are.

(The New Yorker, November 15, 1930)

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