Thursday, October 16, 2014

Edgar who?

From Patrick Leigh Fermor’s A Time of Gifts: On Foot to Constantinople: From the Hook of Holland to the Middle Danube (1977), the first of three volumes recounting the writer’s 1933–1934 walk across Europe. Here Leigh Fermor is visiting a Benedictine monastery, Göttweig Abbey, in the company of a shoemaker named Paul:

He led me along an upper cloister to see an Irish monk of immense age and great charm. His words are all lost, but I can still hear his soft West of Ireland voice. Except for his long Edgar Wallace cigarette holder, our host could have sat for a picture of St. Jerome.
Edgar Wallace (1875–1932) was a writer of immense output. Today he may be best known as the writer of the first draft of the screenplay for King Kong (1933). Wallace appeared on the cover of the April 15, 1929 issue of Time, cigarette holder in hand and mouth.


[Image from Time Cover Search.]

The image of St. Jerome with a cigarette holder is best left to the individual imagination.

Related posts
From A Time of Gifts : One word from A Time of Gifts : Leigh Fermor’s Brueghel : Leigh Fermor’s eye

[Monks smoke?!]

comments: 6

Elaine Fine said...

Some clever photoshopper could turn St. Jerome's pencil (or other writing instrument) into a blackwing.

Michael Leddy said...

I’m sure a certain pencil company would like to claim Jerome as a user of its products.

Diane Schirf said...

I could add cigarette holders to my "Relics" series (assuming I ever get back to it), but according to Wikipedia Scarlett Johansson is a user.

Michael Leddy said...

Good grief. Quit, Scarlett, quit!

Bill Reed said...


While we're, peripherally, on the subject of King Kong screenwriters, another scripter of the 1933 film classic, James Ashmore Creelman, committed suicide not so long after the film opened by hurling himself from a New York City skyscraper. "Talk about yer life imitatin' art!"

Michael Leddy said...

Yeesh. That sounds like someone for Kenneth Anger’s books.