It is probably important that the Literary Man have a beard, or at the very least a literary mustache with its wings waxed and upwardly curled. There are, of course, many great Literary Beards in the history of literature. Ernest Hemingway comes to mind first:
But it’s important to know that Hemingway probably learned from an earlier master, Fyodor Mikhaylovich Dostoyevsky, whose beard was equally fierce:
Ideally, the Literary Man’s beard will appear unkempt, untrimmed, and generally haggard. It is not mandatory that strangers mistake him for a homeless man, but it is casually recommended. The length of the Literary Man’s beard should be ideal for stroking, contemplation, and in general all things literary. The Literary Man can trim his Literary Beard, but only at the insistence of the Literary Lady; if the Literary Lady withholds certain “conversational topics” from the Literary Man, and does so in the name of her hatred for the Literary Beard, it is then–and only then–acceptable to forcibly erase the Literary Beard and present a more Fitzgeraldian face to the literary world.
Essentially, the Literary Beard might look something like this:
This will ensure that no one mistakes the worthy Literary Beard will the embarrassingly common hipster beard, which is neatly trimmed, native to the literary provinces of Brooklyn and Portland, and generally frowned-upon. Nor should age prevent the Literary Man from claiming the Literary Beard that is rightfully his. Admittedly, the aged Literary Beard will contain an assemblage of grey and white hairs, but these hairs of the inevitable and well-earned by-product of a lengthy literary life.
If the Literary Man has the company of a Literary Dog, it is recommended that the Literary Dog possess beard-like whiskers, if not an outright beard of his own.
This concluding paragraph will attempt to justify the inclusion of Salma Hayek in the title of the post, as well as in the obviously undoctored image below, of Ms. Hayek in the possession of a righteous Literary Beard. In the realm of Books that Should be Movies, the Literary Man would very much like to see Salma Hayek play the part of Mercedes in THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. Admittedly, this French masterpiece (apparently not a contradiction in terms??) has been filmed before, but it’s perhaps time for a redux.