Friday, February 26, 2016

The Proto-Buffy

WDJ’s Department of American Incunabula  reports:

Hawthorne’s American notebooks from the mid-1840s  contain many brief notes for possible future stories, most of which he never got around to writing.  One such item he handed over to Longfellow, who turned it into the epic poem “Evangeline”.  Another fragment had to wait longer for its eventual embodiment:

To contrive a story of a man building a house, and locating it over the pit of Acheron.  The breath of hell shall breathe up from the furnace that warms it, and over which Satan himself shall preside.  Devils and damned souls  shall continually be rising through the registers.  Possibly an angel may now and then peep through the ventilators.

And thus it came to pass, that in our own day and age, a prophet named Josh Whedon did chance upon that manuscript;  and thus was Sunnydale, and Buffy, born.


An hideous hole all vast, withouten shape,
Of endless depth, o'erwhelm'd with ragged stone,
With ugly mouth and grisly jaws doth gape,
And to our sight confounds itself in one.
Here enter'd we, and yeding forth, anon
An horrible loathly lake we might discern,
As black as pitch, that clepèd is Averne.
-- Th. Sackville, “Induction”

1 comment: