I came across Plotto a few years back – references to it in other works, rather than the actual book. it sounded strange, complex and wildly over-reaching. I couldn’t find one – it was long out of print. It wasn’t until I got my own copy that I realized how really odd, clumsy – and […]
I still think most of these would be whiskey, not coffee. (h/t to Mark Victor Young.) Alltop is a stiff drink of humor.
If tinkers may have leave to live, And bear the sow-skin budget, Then my account I well may, give, And in the stocks avouch it. Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale, Act IV, Sc. III, Shakespeare These lines got me thinking about the town’s finances. Sow-skin budget? What does that mean? And how does that relate to […]
Charles Darwin has long been associated with the phrase, “survival of the fittest.” For a century and a half people have used it to refer to their understanding of his explanation of how species evolved. But it wasn’t his. And it has obscured the understanding of Darwin’s own theory. It came from a contemporary, Herbert […]
Reading Mark Twain…’Christian Science’ ‘Christian Science’….Mark Twain, Harper & Brothers, New York, 1907
I was continuing my task of reading anything available, in print or on the internet, when I came upon this book, over a century old, in the recesses of one of my storage boxes. The volume life in 1899 in The Cosmopolitan magazine. This is the first half of the book. The second half, a worthy addendum to the first, also began life as a periodical series in the North American Review in 1907 even though it had been written about 4 years (Read more…)
…upon hearing of Alice Munro winning the Nobel Prize for Literature Pauline Marois – “The Parti Québécois does not recognise this award because her writings are clearly counter to our Charter of Values. And I’m told that she doesn’t speak french”. Stephen Harper – “Because of my extensive literary experience gained while writing my book – […]
pete the parrot and shakespeare i got acquainted with a parrot named pete recently who is an interesting bird pete says he used to belong to the fellow that ran the mermaid tavern in london then i said you must have known shakespeare know him said pete poor mutt i knew him well he called […]
I left you in my exploration of the Encyclopedia of Hell pondering which version of the Faustus story was better: with or without his final redemption. Personally, I prefer without, because it offers greater dramatic opportunities. I also don’t like the notion of redemption: it seems like a “get out of Hell free” card. Christianity [...]
Hades, you know, isn’t a place. It’s a guy. The Greek god of the underworld. His territory consists of a bunch of domains, including the rather unpleasant Tartarus, where souls – called shades – suffer eternal punishment. Hades wasn’t a fun god. If you weren’t getting your skin ripped off in Tartarus, life sucked in [...]
No, it’s not about that heavyweight book series by George Martin, or the TV series based on it (or even about how you really need to read the books to understand anything that is happening in the TV series). It’s … Continue reading →
Reblogged this from a soon to be dead blog because A) Everyone should read at least one page of Finnegans Wake if only once in their life, and B) I find this totally fascinating as it builds up to the last word, which was the name of the soon to be dead blog. Got it? Good, because that’ about all you might get on this post. Finnegan’s Wake, Page 29 haunt of the hungred bordles, as it is told me. Shop Illicit, flourishing like a lordmajor or a buaboabaybohm, litting flop a deadlop (aloose!) to lee but lifting a bennbranch (Read more…)
A great picture. And she appears to be reading the last page which is, quite awesome!
A screaming comes across the sky…Above him lift girders…the carriage, which is built on several levels…drunks, old veterans…hustlers…derelicts, exhausted women with more children…
On a Giant’s Shoulders: Zak Smith Illustrates Gravity’s Rainbow
By Creon Upton April, 2005
Illustrating Gravity’s Rainbow is like putting Ezra Pound’s Cantos to music, or writing the novel of a grandmaster showdown—from the point of view of the chess pieces. It is, in other words, a massive task. It also demands exacting control of one’s own medium, as well as intimate engagement with another. The chances for abject failure are overwhelmingly high. Absolute success is all (Read more…)
I came across a poem last night that I had not read in the past (always a pleasant thing to discover something new in one of your books)*. It is by Herman Melville, an author I associate with novels and … Continue reading →
I was 8, maybe 9 years old, when my parents gave me a hardcover copy of Tom Swift and His Rocket Ship by Victor Appleton II. Probably a birthday or Xmas present. I can’t recall which. I just recall how … Continue reading →
In the late 1950s, I came across a copy (1912; an original edition, I believe) of Edgar Rice Burrough’s first published novel, Tarzan, The Ape Man, on my parent’s bookshelf in the basement. A forgotten book, one my father had … Continue reading →
The National Museum of Iraq – known originally as the Baghdad Archaeological Museum – once housed some of the oldest works of literature in the world. Treasures from the origins of civilization, from the cities of Sumeria, Babylon, Assyria were on … Continue reading →
In 1923, William Carlos Williams wrote one of the most profound poems in the English language: The Red Wheelbarrow. It reads like a Japanese Zen haiku: so much depends upon a red wheel barrow glazed with rain water beside the … Continue reading →
Back in the late 1990s, I wrote an essay about the “controversy” over who actually wrote the works of Shakespeare. I wrote, then, Not everyone agrees that Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare. The challenge to his authorship isn’t new: for the last … Continue reading →
For Boethius, it was the Consolation of Philosophy*. For me, it’s literature. Not to write about it so much as to read it. Consolation from the act of reading. And read about literature. Sometimes literature is made more meaningful, brought … Continue reading →
National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; © 1953, 2012 Allen Ginsberg LLC. All rights reserved.William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, photographed by Allen Ginsberg in his East Village living room, 1953; from ‘Beat Memories: The Photographs of Allen Ginsberg,’ an exhibition organized by the National Gallery of Art and on view at NYU’s Grey Art Gallery until April 6, 2013. The catalog includes an essay by Sarah Greenough and is published by the National Gallery and DelMonico Books/Prestel.
On The Road influenced my life like no other book when I first read it in the early 70′s.
. . . → Read More: Walking Turcot Yards: Jack Kerouac’s On The Road In Film