From Harry Stephen Keeler's THE CASE OF THE WOODEN SPECTACLES
[L]et’s say you want to convey that the players in your novel Absalom, Absalom! are doomed. Why bother with ominous mood-setting or grave harbingers or any such circumlocution when there’s already a perfectly good word to accomplish your goal? It’s quite versatile, too: “the very situation to which and by which he was doomed,” “children which she had doomed by conceiving them,” “the current of retribution and fatality which…doomed all his blood,” “caught and sunk and doomed too,” or—this last one also quite comprehensive—“the oblivion to which we are all doomed.”
[...][I]f your characters’ doom is dooming them to some doom in particular, it works for that, as well: “doomed to marry,” “doomed to be a widow,” “doomed to be a murderer,” “doomed and destined to kill,” “doomed to contemplate all human behavior” (said human behavior involving a lot of marital and homicidal impulses, apparently). It can be used for dramatic counterintuitive effect, like “doomed to live”—and then this permutation can be paired with various different subjects, as in “those who are doomed to live,” “I am doomed to live,” and “she and I both are doomed to live.” It is also resilient, standing up to repeated, concentrated use in such iterations as “doomed to spinsterhood” (p. 146), “doomed to spinsterhood” (p. 147), and “doomed to spinsterhood” (p. 148).
Enter Louis Justin, the 23-year-old owner of Massacre Video, a horror micro-label he runs out of his Michigan home. An avid collector of VHS, Mr. Justin turned amateur gumshoe to track down a director he calls a legend. After hundreds of fruitless calls to Chester Turners across the country, Mr. Justin was at a Chicago video store when he asked the owners if they’d heard of “Black Devil Doll.”
"Properly sung, khoomei sounds as though the singer has ingested a set of bagpipes, with a low drone and a high melody issuing simultaneously from the same mouth." —NYT
Labels: Ed reads the paper
I laughed twice reading the Times this week:
"At this point, the astute reader is probably thinking this sounds like a cobbler with a funny name. But what is a cobbler, really? Is it the freewheeling cousin of the crisp? The Southern answer to the thrifty New England brown Betty? A pan dowdy with integrity? A pie for lazy people?" --"Sonkers, Grunts, Slumps and Crumbles," Kim Severson, NYT
"Who among us has not been held captive by a wine, single malt or vodka bore? Thanks to the recent proliferation of boutique vodkas, it is now possible, indeed likely, to have your eyes as frosted as a Grey Goose bottle while someone holds forth at Homeric length on potato versus grain versus molasses versus organic wheat versus Australian sugar cane. My eyes glazed over just typing that sentence." —Christopher Buckley, "Booze as Muse," NYT
From Dullblogger Hua: "She's Leaving Home" from the perspective of a girl leaving home. (Anyone know anything about Kathy McCord?) Happy 4th from Hey Dullblog!
"Jason Everman has the unique distinction of being the guy who was kicked out of Nirvana and Soundgarden, two rock bands that would sell roughly 100 million records combined. At 26, he wasn’t just Pete Best, the guy the Beatles left behind. He was Pete Best twice." —NYT