Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The most fascinating writer you've never heard of

I stumbled on to a web site devoted to Harry Stephen Keeler, a unique mystery writer that probably deserves a closer look.

Keeler developed his own style, writing mystery and science fiction in the 1930s. He was pretty widely published, but publishers and readers weren't quite sure what to make of him. His novels, based on a complicated "webworks" structure, violate all the rules of conventional storytelling - plots move solely on coincidence, his characters are broad and comical and his works are so bizarre and often badly written, it's difficult to tell if he was a brilliant satirist or an insane literary Ed Wood.

An overview of Keeler's life and work

Harry Stephen Keeler Society

Some etexts of Keelor's works

Article by Keeler on his "webworks" method of plotting novels (including convoluted illustrations)

A trip to Columbia University to investigate Keeler's papers and unpublished works

Ramble House reprints of Keeler's novels and related material

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