In a message dated 97-11-01 04:32:19 EST, you write:
<< i could be completely wrong here (as i often am) but my take on the S.
Morgenstern / Princess Bride thing was that William Goldman was told the
Princess Bride story by his Florinese father while sick as a kid
watching college football (yeah, just like the movie). Father read him
the book, and while reading it translated out the serious boring parts
and emphasized "The good parts", but Goldman never realized this.
Later, as a father himself, Goldman searched and searched for the
Pricess Bride by S Morgenstern, eventually found a copy, sent it to his
son, who hated it. Goldman couldn't understand how his son could hate
the story that he had loved so much as a kid, so he finally read the
book himself and realized the problem: Morgenstern had meant the book to
be a kind of satirical history on Florin. So Goldman rewrote the book
the way his father told him the story and voila, the Princess Bride as
we know it.
I almost fell for that too, but I believe that the "intro" is part of
the novel. It's very cunning, but the entier story is a fabrication. I have
no real proof of this, mostly just a gut feeling and a little common sense.
The authors introduction in this book is a literary device, to contrast the
romantic fantasy of "S. Morgenstern" with the dismal family life of Goldman,
which I think is another fabrication.
There are a number of little things in the book which seem to hint that
there was no S. Morgenstern. For example, Goldman mentions several times
that Morgenstern was writing a history of his home country. A rudimentary
knowledge of history and geography will tell you that there is not nor ever
was such a country as Florin. There are also a number of literary hints. I
recall (working from memory here, so please forgive any lapses) a passage
that was fairly humorous and exciting as it appeared in the "original" work.
After it, Goldman breaks in to explain that he has excised some sixty pages
of geneaology that had no direct bearing on the story and no entertainment
value at all. I find it hard to beleive that a writer as talented as the
supposed S. Morgenstern would then drop into text-book boring lists of who
sired who for three score pages, as Goldman claims. There are number of
other "hints" like this throughout the book (another is that Goldman is a
little too candid about his family life for it to be a truthful account.
What man in his right mind would publish a book in which he admits to
considering adultery against his current wife? Not to mention the several
psychological compexes his son would end up with after reading Goldman's
observations of his only child.) But the best proof is not, technically, in
the book. It's opposite page 1, in the copyright legalese, which makes no
mention of any S. Morgenstern, and gives William Goldman the sole copyright
in 1973. Considering the American legal system, if there had been an S.
Morgenstern, his heirs would have sued Mr. Goldman into an early retirement