I asked entrant to my competition
to identify a factual error in the first few pages of The Corner of Arundel Lane and Charles Street
. The one I had in mind was in the poem 'Sand', which asserts that sand is 'the grain of dross in every pearl' – as I understand it, sand is very rarely the irritant
which forms the basis of a pearl. But no one got that. Luckily, several entrants pointed out that Goethe didn't as far as we know, write:
Ja, ohne die Liebe wäre die Welt nicht die Welt,
aber Matlock wäre doch Matlock noch.
[Yes, without Love the world would not be the world,
but Matlock, of course, would still be Matlock.]
Those entrants went into the hat to win the prize, and the name that came out was – Joad Raymond. Congratulations to Joad, bad luck to everyone else, and thanks for entering!