Reading, Short And Deep #197 – The Pimienta Pancakes by O. Henry


Reading, Short And DeepReading, Short And Deep #197

Eric S. Rabkin and Jesse Willis discuss The Pimienta Pancakes by O. Henry

The Pimienta Pancakes was first published in McClure’s, December 1903.

Here’s a link to the PDF of the story.

Posted by Scott D. Danielson

2 thoughts to “Reading, Short And Deep #197 – The Pimienta Pancakes by O. Henry”

  1. Thanks Eric and Jesse for another fine and informative discussion. I’m the regular listener who commented on your episode on the Stephen Crane story a few months back and suggested then a further Crane piece – An Illusion In Red And White – as well as this piece to cover. Humour is subjective of course, but the dry wit and garrulous dialogue and peculiarly-juxtaposed word-play of O. Henry (also a certain streak of meanness (if not outright cruelty) he has, as was briefly touched on) strongly appeals to me as reader. I imagine he would’ve been very good company, a charming rogue in person, as are so many of the characters he created. Like you, I detected a bit of Yosemite Sam in Judson’s rough edges. I’m glad you both appreciated the humour. Re-reading The Pimienta Pancakes for this episode, I found nearly every line a comic gem – I especially liked the notion of otherwise brave men who could shave in the dark becoming “left-handed and full of perspiration and excuses when they see a bolt of calico draped around what belongs in it” – and I think that owes a lot to his economy. There’s no wasted sentences with him. The illustrations in the Pdf were wonderful too, weren’t they? Your discussion brought to mind that there’s a great deal about food in O. Henry’s work, many scenes set in restaurants, et cetera. Lots of robbery and lying and cheating too. Sometimes he even combines the themes, like here and in The Man Higher Up where a con-man sells a town seeds of fruit trees that ‘don’t live up to their labels’. With Thanksgiving coming up, I wish you both well and would like to suggest to you another personal O. Henry favourite, ‘Two Thanksgiving Day Gentlemen’. It’s an interesting counterpoint to the more widely known The Gift Of The Magi.

  2. Thanks Greg! took some looking but i found the original publication details for TWO THANKSGIVING DAY GENTLEMEN by O. Henry – it was in “The World, v. 46, no. 16168, Nov. 26, 1905” aka THE NEW YORK SUNDAY WORLD MAGAZINE (which may be the newspaper’s supplement) – sadly I cant find any issues of that online – which I will want to have (rather than the later book publication)

    and “An Illusion In Red And White” was in the New York World, May 20 1900. Which is similarly unavailable, as far as I can tell. Hopefully I’ll find a way to get these scans.

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