"Play the novel for comedy. The flatter the better."


New Member
What does the sentence, "Play the novel for comedy. The flatter the better." means in the following statement?
And I'm not familiar with the word "apropos" in the following sentence. Please help me get the idea of this whole context.

Thanks for your help in advance!

"In that first draft, I had described my novel scornfully, lest the reader wonder for a moment about my current taste. Todd told me, "Play the novel for comedy. The flatter the better." He also said, apropos of the whole story, "Do without foreknowledge."
  • Dretagoto

    Senior Member
    Inglés británico
    "Apropos" means appropriate to, so in this context the person is making a point referencing, or in respect to, the story as a whole.

    To clear up any possible confusion, "flatter" here has the meaning of "more flat", rather than the "flatter" which means to praise or excessively compliment. Todd is saying to try to present the novel in a way that will cause humour, and suggests doing so by writing about it with a very even tone, without many negative or positive phrases, and without much variation in tone. (I guess that the idea is that somehow this is more likely to cause amusement: an appropriate synonym would be "deadpan".)
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