Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Dizzies Gazette

RICHARD POLT, Heidegger expert, founder of the Harry Stephen Keeler Society, and Keeler News editor, sent us a copy of the other excellent specialized publication he edits—ETCetera, the Journal of the Early Typewriter Collectors' Association! (Go here to experience a free sample.) Issue 74's cover features the complicated, beautiful Duplex, with its massive, imposing keyboard. Some keys are black, some are white—it looks a little like a deadlocked game of Go. As Tony Casillo explains:

Theoretically, typists could double their typing speed by depressing keys on a keyboard consisting of four quadrants. The upper left contained capital letters, the upper right contained numbers and punctuation marks, and the two lower sections contained a double set of lower-case characters (a total of 100 keys). On a Duplex, the typist could select one key from the left side along with one from the right and depress both simultaneously . . .

Lots of fascinating dope here, full color photos, glossy paper. In short: Highly recommended!

BEACH READ: Come Closer, by Sara Gran. Unputdownable! Fans of The Horned Man should snap this up. As we like to say here: Highly recommended!

COINCIDENCE DEPT.: The latest Keeler News, one of the few publications we read cover to cover, contains a short, tantalizing item. A reader sent in a New York Times clipping about Out 1: Noli Me Tangere, the extremely rare, recently screened 750-minute film by Jacques Rivette. Part of the original article reads:

Two oddball loners . . . separately circle the groups. Characters change names and reveal secret identities. Living Theaterish rehearsals go on for ages. Connective tissue fills in, only to fall away. Mr. Léaud's character is the thickening mystery's self-appointed detective, fixated on cryptic messages about a 13-member secret society. . . . Building on his improvisational experiments of ''L'Amour Fou'' (1968), Mr. Rivette worked without a script, relying instead on a diagram that mapped the junctures at which members of his large ensemble cast would intersect.

It was pointed out that Rivette might be the ideal director to bring our beloved Harry Stephen Keeler to the screen, particularly his 750-page The Box From Japan, devoting a minute of screentime per page. (The only Rivette I've seen, Celine and Julie Go Boating, didn't strike me as particularly Keeleresque, but the description here of Out 1 and Rivette's methods certainly sounds Keeler-ready!)

Now get this! Keeler is famous for his "webwork" mysteries, in which connections and coincidences flourish—how appropriate, then, that the writer of the Rivette piece (unnamed in the KN excerpt) was none other than Friend-of-the-Dizzies Dennis Lim?

WE HEAR that a recent book party for Gideon Defoe's amusing Pirates! books, held aboard a vessel on Pier 63, promised free ham (indeed, it was dubbed a "Hamstravaganza") and drinks. Or did it merely strongly imply that that would be the case? An intrepid crew of would-be revelers made its way to the ship (yclept the Frying Pan) only to find a cash bar and . . . no ham. Oddly, Defoe himself was not present—a strange book party, indeed. Aarrr!


Blogger HeyZeus! said...

I almost went to the party but I was lazy and didn't. Cash bar? I never!

8:06 AM  
Blogger Jenny Davidson said...

No ham?!?

This is the best Dizzies post ever, I think....

4:19 PM  

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