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Showing posts from August 10, 2008

Short Story Sunday - The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar

The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe was published in 1845. It was published without the specific clarification that it was a fictional account. Poe was one of the earliest American short story writers. He used a recurring theme in his stories that focus around death and the questions that arise from it, including physical signs of death, decomposition, premature burial, reanimation of the dead, and the process of mourning. Poe seemed to enjoy the effect his horror "hoaxes" had on his readers.

Poe was one of the first masters of horror. In this story he uses a particular amount of gore. He refers to much of the physical aspects of death throughout this story. Elizabeth Barrett Browning comment that Poe had an uncanny ability of "making horrible improbablitities seem near and farmiliar." The narrator of the the story tells the facts of the case and shares his curiosity of hypnotising someone at the point of death to see what effect it would ha…



Suburbia is a modern Utopia,
Of gracious living a cornucopia.
The average family income, I hear,
Is twenty-five thousand dollars a year.
Station wagons adorn valleys and ridges,
And the sports cars travel in swarms, like midges.
Here are gardens where no one weeds or delves,
And, should furnace or freezer act less than dandy,
There's always a quaint old handy-man handy.
The summer weekends are always cool
Round the barbecue grill and the swimming pool,
And in winter the family hovers in glee
O'er the Hi-fi set and the color TV.
With the joys of Nature in such propinquity
There's an absence of juvenile delinquity.
The children (each home has two and I third)
Are the kind that are seen and never heard,
So at nightfall instead of the city's turbulence
You hear a kind of soothing suburbulence
As the young obediently hit the hay
And parents drive off to the P.T.A.
Such is my vision of Suburbia,
Where I&…

Fun Friday - Comic Books

When I told a friend I was reading Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton, he brought to my attention that it was also a movie and the movie happened to have Nicolas Cage in it. I highly dislike Nicolas Cage and I think my friend likes to bring up his name as much as possible just to annoy me. (why would anyone EVER want to do that? He must have a death wish.)

But I actually appreciated it this time. It has been interesting to read about the movie in which Cage plays the minor role of Smokey Bennett. It was also brought to my attention that Nick Cage isn't Nick Cage at all, but Nicolas Kim Copula. I remember vaguely hearing in the past, since he is the nephew of Francis Ford Copula. Who happen to direct Rumble Fish and The Outsiders. Cage was asked to help out his uncle during the audition process and ended up getting his role from it. It was his 4th movie (including a bit role in The Outsiders.)

So, what happened to Nicolas Kim Copula? He noticed that people treated him differently becaus…

Thursaday Thirteen - Literary Music

1. Paperback Writer - The Beatles

Paper back writer (paperback writer)
Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It's based on a novel by a man named Lear
The song's lyrics are in the form of a letter from an aspiring author addressed to a publisher. The song includes a reference to the nonsense poet Edward Lear.

2. Don't Stand So Close To Me - The Police

It's no use, he sees her
He starts to shake and cough
Just like the old man in
That book by Nabakov
The line "Just like the old man in that book by Nabokov" alludes to Vladimir Nabokov's famous novel Lolita which covers similar issues. However, Sting mispronounces "Nabokov."

3. Wrapped Up In Books - Belle and Sebastian

Our aspirations, are wrapped up in books
Our inclinations are hidden in looks
The band name Belle & Sebastian is inspired by Belle et Sébastien, a children's book by French writer Cécile Aubry.

4. Atlantis - No Angels featuring Donovan


Writing Wednesday - Pure Drivel

The Kennedy Center dubs him "a Renaissance comic" and continues saying, "He is without doubt one of the most versatile and popular actors before the public, a performer with happy feet who wears many hats well beyond his signature arrow-through-the-head gear."

Pure Drivel was published in 1998. It is a collection of stories originally written for The New Yorker. The following is from the essay entitled "Writing Is Easy."

"Writing is one of the most easy, pain-free, and happy ways to pass the time in all the arts. For example, right now I am sitting in my rose garden and typing on my new computer. Each rose represents a story, so I am never at a loss for what to write. I just look deep into the heart of the rose and read its story and write it down through typing, which I enjoy anyway. I could be typing "kjfiu joewmv jiw" and would enjoy it as much as typing words that actually make sense. I simply relish the movement of my fingers on t…

Teen Tuesday - Her Smile

Teen Tuesday is the day we set aside for teen book lovers visit with each other to find out what's being read in the world of young adult literature. You can comment whether you are a participant or not. Visit all the posters at
Well I have been getting a lot of reading done. Picking up book after book and reading a few pages and not making it far.

The young adult books I am currently reading are:
The Second Mrs. Gioconda
The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon

The books I recently finished are:
The Book Thief
Vampire Plagues: Paris, 1850

I think it is interesting when books two books you are reading have a common element. It is to be expected if you are reading two books on the same topic. But I think it is really interesting when it happens when you are reading books on two different topics.

You know when you are needing to be reading a pile of books but there is one just this one that keeps staring at you? You see it calling to you out of the corner of yo…

The Sunday Salon - Bordello of Books

It has been a long time since I have had the time or the inclination to go about blog visiting. It has been a joy to start off my morning doing so.

Contrary to the previous months where I have been reading very little, now it feels like I am reading too much, and doing it so slowly that it doesn't change from week to week. Last Sunday I darted out of town for what was supposed to be a day/overnight trip and bloomed into a bit of a longer trip. It was fun and amazing. I traveled by myself and listened to audiobooks. I really hate driving so this was a bit of an experiment to see if audiobooks made it any better for me. It did help quite a bit, but I still got REALLY TIRED on the long stretches.

Yesterday I went to the library. There is really no reason for me to go to the library as I have more than enough books here. I am sincerely trying to cut back, yet every time I got I check out more books than I did the previous time. I came home with 6 books. Big books, bigger than …