It comes down to, I think, who is the most serious writer, Charlotte Bronte, or the writers of Brew No. 1.
We have another story by that prolific writer, Lord Charles Wellesley, in Issue No. 3 of Young Men’s Magazine. It is the story of “Albion and Marina”, a story to rival that one by the Bard, “Romulus and Julius”, or something like that, or a more modern version, such as “Charlie Sheen and the Queen of Tarts”.
In Charlotte’s story (for she is the real writer), there is no sex. That is the fantastical part. Albion, the Marquis of Tagus, falls in love with a child of nature, Marina, and promises to respect her virginity. So he goes abroad to Africa, to its chief metropolis, Glass Town, where he becomes the most accomplished poet in the universe, writing solely to and for his Marina across the sea (no pun intended). However, he meets Lady Zelzia, and rather than succumb to her charms, he flees back to England, where he meets the ghost of Marina. He suspects something is wrong. And he is right. For real ghosts don’t play the harp.
Another ghost leads Albion to her grave, where his suspicions are confirmed. She never got his letters. He should have had sex with Lady Zelzia.
Now that’s as serious as Lord Wellesley aka Charlotte Bronte gets. And they’re making movies of her books today. Go figure.
On the other hand, consider “1971 Pays Plat Trip” in Brew No. 1 by a real writer, John Arts. It is a record of a canoe trip in June. All the rivers in that part of the country run down to Lake Superior. So this crew of adventurers make the fatal decision to run the Pays Plat River backwards, spending days on sections of the route that they could’ve scooted by in hours if they’d been running downhill. On the very first day they are attacked by miniature black vampires, as small as flies, which suck the life’s blood out of them. The farther they go, the more vampires envelope them. Hundreds of vampires become thousands which become millions. Onward they struggle, for twelve more days, replenishing their blood reservoirs with tea and kool-aid. Finally they emerge from the Valley of the Vampires. Since that day that trip has never been replicated. It never will be.
That is a serious story. Nothing fantastical about it. Someday they will make a movie of it. And of the other classic stories in Brew No. 1, such as “The Great Sanitary Landfill Debate”. Mark my words.
Okay, now that you’ve sampled our juvenilia, you understand how Charlotte and I were destined to be authors. If Charlotte were living today, she’d be a multi-billionaire. I am living today and I have a good crack at it. In somebody’s lifetime, way out there in the future sometime.
Charlotte does not get to collect the $1.1 million, American, and I will not get to collect the $1.1 billion, American, 182 years from now. Maybe you could. Or your descendants could.
But I deserve a few yuan now, don’t you think?
So I’m offering Brew No. 1 for sale.
As of now.
A real bargain. Let the bidding begin.
Reserve bid: $550,000.
In Chinese yuan.
(The currency of the future.)