Felix W. Cooper's Literary Excerpts: A Prince's Life
Today's selection is taken from the beginning, middle, and end of the prologue setting up Prince William Smith's autobiography, A Prince's Life. It begins:
Much to my abashed dismay, our frequently sensational outbursts resulted in the loss of our gut-sack. As fate would have it, it ended up disturbing a rather despicable group of fool-hooligans who insisted that, as a result of our contravention upon their deliberation of the day's crimes against Our Lord, we play the game of fisticuffs as an alternative.
Upon closer inspection I took in the fact that the driver of said vehicle had placed a pair of number-dotted cubes from his rear-set reflector. I knew that rapscallions were fond of utilizing just such tools for games involving the unlawful annexation of improper wealth, among other activities resulting in transgressions in the eyes of the Holy Father. Fearing the driver a miscreant, a quake of God-fear marched down my spine.
It was not until betwixt the hours of seven or eight on March the Twenty-Second in the year of our Lord 1990 that my companion and I reached my destination; Bel Air. I bid a genteel farewell to my cab in spite of the abhorrent vapours to be found within.
Lo! I had arrived!"
Smith also does not spare his cousin Carlton. Described by Smith as an "unmanageable sodomite" and possessing "uncouth rhythm and donning questionably knit garb," the energetic Carlton seems to take great delight in preventing the young prince from acquiring the attention of a respectable female consort.
Do not let the premise fool you. A Prince's Life is a book that will leave your hands long before it leaves your mind. If you are looking for a fresh perspective on what would otherwise be a classic rags-to-riches tale, look no further.
Felix W. Cooper has a PhD. in literary studies from Yale University. His latest book "Great Books For Book-Reading Literates" is available in limited numbers from University Press.