Foghorns show up in much of my writing, but that’s because I cultivate a disingenuously melancholy disposition that my actual life, full of hilarity and good-natured insults, completely belies.
But today I discovered that “a distant barking dog” appears in everything ever written by anybody. At Slate, Rosecrans Baldwin ponders this strange ubiquity of blandly barking canines:
“If a novel is an archeological record of 4.54 billion decisions, then maybe distant barking dogs are its fossils, evidence of the novelist working out an idea.”
Prospective novelists take note: eliminate your barking dog urge!