The night before Christmas I was reading The Night Before Christmas to The Daughters (as I am wont to do on the night before Christmas). I found this beautiful oversized hardbound edition with illustrations by Christian Birmingham.
I’m not sure what medium Mr. Birmingham used for the illustrations. They’re either pastels or chalk or something of that ilk.
The drawings have an eerie nighttime quality. I love them.
I got halfway through the book and found a glaring typo! They left out a word! The fourth line should read: “With THE sleigh full of toys—” I checked it against other copies of this story we have and it’s definitely a gaffe.
Mrs. Wife thinks I’m making too big a deal out of it but I am astonished that this could happen. Do you know how many eyes see this before it’s sent to print? It was printed in China so maybe they did it.
It’s one thing if they leave a word out of, say, Joyce’s Ulysses. Who would even notice?! Or care!? But if the entire page only contains 19 words and you leave one of them out, people are going to pick up on that. Even a dunce like me could spot it. (Yes, I’m fully aware the my blog entries are often riddled with grammatical and spelling mishaps.) I’m thinking of going back to Barnes & Noble to try and get my money back. Just to see if they would do it.
My favorite James Joyce joke: James Joyce is sitting at a table weeping uncontrollably. Ernest Hemingway walks into the room and says, “What the hell’s the matter with you this time?” Joyce says, “Ernest, I wrote eight words today!” Hem says, “What are you crying about?! For you, that’s pretty good!” Joyce says, “Yes, but I don’t know what order they go in!”
Fun fact about The Night Before Christmas: The actual title of the poem is A Visit From St. Nicholas, but those words never appear in the story. The opening stanza became so popular that they officially changed the title. It’s like The Who’s Baba O’Riley which is often misidentified as Teenage Wasteland.