lewis carroll and an elementary lesson on making a request

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MANY GOOD STORIES are good, but not nec­es­sarily so, even in an el­e­men­tary way. For ex­ample:

“An old story has it that Queen Vic­toria was so en­chanted with Al­ice’s Ad­ven­tures In Won­der­land that she asked its au­thor to be sure to send her his next work.

So he did: it was An El­e­men­tary Trea­tise On De­ter­mi­nants—or, in some ver­sions, a bundle of ab­struse math­e­mat­ical pam­phlets. READ MORE

hugo ball and sound poetry (o gadji beri bimba)

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HUGO BALL’S SOUND POETRY may seem a mere stringing of words to­gether to many readers or lis­teners. It is a form of verse without words. “Sound po­etry is an artistic form bridging lit­erary and mu­sical com­po­si­tion in which the pho­netic as­pects of human speech take the fore­ground in­stead of the more con­ven­tional se­mantic and syn­tactic values.” Need­less to say, sound po­etry is in­tended to be heard, not read! READ MORE

why does stephen king believe norman mailer and gerald posner? – part 2

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EVEN A CURSORY READ of the facts (“Just the facts, ma’am”) and not some­one’s opin­ions will re­veal a mass of data that would lead anyone free of as­sump­tions to as­sume that things just don’t add up. In 11/22/63, King does not deal with these in­con­sis­ten­cies, con­tra­dic­tions, and con­tro­ver­sies sur­rounding the ev­i­dence or lack thereof. 

Not that I ex­pect that to be a part of the nar­ra­tive, but it is a part of the back­ground and should be con­sid­ered. READ MORE

why does stephen king believe mailer and posner that oswald acted alone?

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I HAVE JUST FINISHED 11/22/63, Stephen King’s re­cent novel. Pub­lished in 2011, it is a modern fan­tasy whose ‘gimme’ is un­ex­plained, mag­ical time-travel. In fact, the con­cept of walking into a small room and finding a gateway into an­other world is as old as, well—Narnia it­self! The title of the novel should give away the des­ti­na­tion of the time-traveling pro­tag­o­nist: he travels back in time to stop Lee Harvey Os­wald from shooting Pres­i­dent Kennedy. READ MORE

mark twain on being a writer and a reader


“WHEN MARK TWAIN OPENED HIS MOUTH, strange things came tum­bling out. Things like hoaxes, jokes, yarns, ob­scen­i­ties, and non se­quiturs. He had a drawl—his ‘slow talk,’ his mother called it—that made his sen­tences long and sin­uous. One re­porter de­scribed it as a ‘little buzz-saw slowly grinding in­side a corpse.’ Others thought that he sounded drunk.

He loved to talk: to friends, to re­porters, to the crowds of adoring fans who filled lec­ture halls to hear him. READ MORE