Bali IB DP English

The Editor’s Notes: Chapter 3

In Analysis of Plot, Batavus Droogstoppel, Frits Droogstoppel, Scarfman, The Editor on 03/04/2009 at 14:20

I think Frits’ poem is nothing short of lovely. Well, technically it is Scarfman’s poem, of course, but it was Frits who got his hands on it and decided that it was special enough to memorize and recite to Droogstoppel and family. Thank God he did it, too, for it was his foray into Scarfman’s parcel that began Droogstoppel’s interest in his other works. Naturally, however, Droogstoppel hated the poem before he even heard it. Anything to do with verse, and all interest goes out the window for him. He really is a strange character.  He is quite possibly the least imaginative and open minded writer I have ever worked with in my life.

                And again, I cannot help but notice his self importance! It seeps into every page, in the way he interrupts Scarfman’s letter and criticizes line after line – poor Scarfman was probably only trying to be humble, and yet Droogstoppel cannot look past his appearance and his job. The first mention of the word poet and Droogstoppel already resorts to onomatopoeia to express his disgust!

                Obviously as soon as Frits began actually reciting one of Scarfman’s poems in front of not only him but his friends and family, Droogstoppel seemed almost ready to shoot himself! He called it “nonsense” and deemed it “lies and tomfoolery”. Well, I’d like to see him try and write two lines with as much feeling as Scarfman did in his poem.

                Anyway, fortunately the publisher agreed with me on the poem and we convinced Droogstoppel to write it in the novel. It builds Scarfman’s character, if nothing else, and it really is a sweet story.


The Editor, 44 Prinzengracht, Amsterdam.




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