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Misery Loves Company: Baker’s Law and Misery Lit

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I found this question, What is Baker’s Law?, in list of Q&A compiled by a group of librarians who participate in online reference (aka digital ref, e-ref, the Oregon ones, Lnet and Ask Us (from Multnomah Co). It caught my eye partly because it reminded me about a recently characterized genre of fiction: Misery Lit. Anyone who reads fiction will recognize this genre. While some love it, some of us (me! me! me!) run, hellbent, in the other direction.

Anyway, here’s the answer to the What is Baker’s Law? question:

“I am assuming that the question is “Looking for Information about Baker’s Law.” As Paul Dickson reports in his book, “Official Rules” (NY, Delacorte Press, 1978), Baker’s Law is one of the “laws” that appeared beginning after WWII to explain the “perversity of nature”, Murphy’s Law being the most renowned. Baker’s Law, according to this book, is “Misery no longer loves company. Nowadays it insists on it.” The law is attributed to columnist Russell Baker, hence the name. It is also listed on the website “Murphy’s Laws and Corollaries”: http://dmawww.epfl.ch/roso.mosaic/dm/murphy.html [February 2002].”

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