unless we wanted a milk-strainer
Posted: 28 May 2017 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]
Total Posts:  288
Joined  2007-02-23

When Griswold replaced Poe as the editor of Graham’s, a friend of Poe’s printed a squib: “We would give more for Edgar A. Poe’s toe nail, than we would for Rueful Grizzle’s soul, unless we wanted a milk-strainer.”

from Edgar Allan Poe and the economy of horror.

What does “ unless we wanted a milk-strainer” mean?

Posted: 28 May 2017 01:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Total Posts:  3522
Joined  2007-01-31

I found a discussion, apparently of this same quote, at https://forum.wordreference.com/threads/milk-strainer.2601536/
Much of the discussion is in Spanish, but an Anglophone poster wrote:

The point about a milk-strainer is that it had very large holes, much larger than a normal strainer so useless for anything other than putting under a cow when milking it.
So his soul is no real use and full of large holes.

Seems reasonable to me.

Posted: 29 May 2017 05:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Total Posts:  4634
Joined  2007-01-29

That was my guess without even googling.  Some people’s souls are holy, Grizzle’s was hole-y.