The Guardian has a cute piece on typos great and small, bane of an author’s existence, but boon to a rare book dealer’s.
Reporter Danuta Kean provides this on a Theodore Dreiser sentence from An American Tragedy
“One of the best literary malapropisms in print appears in Theodore Dreiser’s 1925 classic An American Tragedy. In a passage of which Bad Sex award-winner Morrissey would be proud, two characters dance “harmoniously abandoning themselves to the rhythm of the music – like two small chips being tossed about on a rough but friendly sea”. Dreiser omits whether those chips were served with curry sauce.”
(Of Dreiser, an author many love to hate, I think H.L. Mencken had it right, ‘Dreiser possessed no talent, only genius.’ Their lifelong friendship and sparring would make a good play.)
Franzen, Joyce, and Henry Miller and Cormac McCarthy all get their due as well.