Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Unlikely inspiration for the Ed of yore

The brown notebook contains general observations, a few brief diaristic episodes, dreams, and would-be novelistic formulations. But mostly it consists of notes on reading—quotes from assorted books I may never see again, as well as from two writers who served as unlikely inspiration for me back then: Edward Payson Vining, author of AN INGLORIOUS COLUMBUS (dedicated to the theory that a Buddhist monk from Afghanistan journeyed to the new world in the fifth century A.D.) and other works, whom I no longer read; and Harry Stephen Keeler, prolific Chicago writer of "webwork" mysteries, whose oeuvre continues to taunt and entertain me. Along with curious passages, diligently copied out, one finds my reflections on these two authors. (I would eventually write an article on Vining, and have written several on Keeler.)


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