A boy who wrote a novel consisting of one word

09 Jul 2021

"The Beautiful People" one of William Saroyan's more obscure plays written in 1941, focuses on appreciating life.

Characters include a fifteen-year boy Owen who writes novels consisting of one word, his sister Agnes who pretends to be taken in by the boy's pretense that the mice in the house spell out her name in flowers on her birthday, and the freelance philosopher of a father who lives by cashing in the pension checks of a stranger, dead for seven years. These charming, interesting characters represent Saroyan's belief that love is the only thing that matters in the world.

The peculiar fact that son of William Saroyan, Aram (an American poet, novelist, biographer, memoirist, and playwright, who is especially known for his minimalist poetry) is consimilar to Owen from "Beautiful people". One of Aram Saroyan's most famous poems was his 1965 poem "lighght" (which was simply the unconventionally spelled word "lighght" in the center of a blank page). This poem was selected by George Plimpton to be featured in The American Literary Anthology. Saroyan’s poem comprising a four-legged version of the letter "m" was been cited in the Guinness Book of Records as the world's shortest poem. There has been a resurgence of interest in Aram Saroyan's work in the 21st century, evidenced by the publication in 2007 of several previous collections reissued together as Complete Minimal Poems.

Aram Saroyan, "lighght," 1965

One of Saroyan's most famous poems was simply the unconventionally spelled word "lighght" in the center of a blank page. This poem was selected by George Plimpton to be featured in The American Literary Anthology and, like all poems in the volume, received a $750 cash award from the National Endowment for the Arts, then just 20 years old.

Aram Saroyan, m, 1965

Admirer Bob Grumman has written that the poem plays on the formation of an alphabet, as if 'm' and 'n' are in the process of separating. It can also be understood as a pun on "I am", implying the formation of consciousness itself.