184. Laudable Lipogram

Books in which certain letters of the English alphabets are omitted deliberately are called Lipograms. Writing such a book is difficult by itself. But imagine writing a novel, without the use of the letter “e”– the most used alphabet in English!

But the American author Ernest Vincent Wright has performed this miraculous task. He had written 300 pages long novel “Gadsby” containing more than 50,000 words, without using the vowel “e” even once!

Wright had taped down the key with “e” on it, so that it would be impossible to use it. He chose his words carefully and succeeded in writing a novel, in which words seem to flow freely and naturally and are not noticeably forced or strained!

It took him 165 days to write this unique book. Not a single word of the text contains the letter “e”! However the strain of writing such a book was too much for him. He died on the very day of the publication of his book!

Gadsby has become highly prized by the collectors of rare books. Today a copy can be sold for more than 1000 U.S Dollars!

Wright’s willful wrestling with words was not wasted after all!

Visalakshi Ramani


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