Robert I. Scott


Every novel constitutes an interestingly complex set of linguistic experiments demonstrating some of the possibilities of its language to and by the exclusion of all the rest. Extreme cases may demonstrate these possibilities more clearly, and at least in English, no novel seems more arbitrarily extreme than Gadsby, which Ernest Vincent Wright apparently wrote in 1936-1937, with the E typebar of his typewriter tied down with string because, he said in his introduction, someone had told him he could not write coherent grammatical English without using its most common letter.