Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pushed to the curb — You know the ring?

How the mighty have fallen! My former student Sandy Gordon spotted this on a sidewalk in Williamsburg:

(Any idea what that other book is?)

* * *

Fortunately, F.S. Sam McLaughlin cheered me up with an Ouroboros he discovered in Terrence Holt's collection In the Valley of the Kings. "In the title story," sez Sam, "the narrator consults an Egyptian Egyptologist":

He [the Egyptian Egyptologist] slumped, if this were possible, deeper in the dim brown heat, the rumples on his suit creasing through his face. —Did you know? I was trained as a chemist. For one year at University, before Nasser. Then the revolution came, and my family left, and I could study anything I wanted. We were all nationalists then, you know--very much so. And I decided that our heritage, our glorious gift to the human race, would be the more fitting study. But today— He pushed the scrap of paper back toward me. —Today I feel nostalgic for the benzene ring. You know the ring? A snake that bites its tail. That is perfection--none of this ringing in of signs from here and there and tomorrow: just carbon and hydrogen making geometry together.

Labels: ,


Blogger Scott said...

Thanks to the magic of reverse image searches, it looks like that other book is an old Oxford World's Classics edition of Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant.

2:37 PM  
Blogger Ed Park said...


8:08 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

View My Stats