Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Musk, leather, and the lumberjack forest

April 30, 2021

… the smell of men fucking

(Clearly not suitable for kids or the sexually modest.)

The story begins with the Etat Libre d’Orange fragrance Tom of Finland:


(#1) Aromatic, woody, leathery ($149 for 100 ml, $98 for 50 ml)

From the perfumery’s site, with a certain amount of perfumer-talk:

(more…)

Tom Stoppard speaks to the meat

March 24, 2021

In the New Yorker, “Tom Stoppard’s Charmed and Haunted Life: A new biography enables us to see beneath the intellectual dazzle of the playwright’s work” by Anthony Lane, in the print edition of 3/1/21:

In 2007, the playwright Tom Stoppard went to Moscow. He was there to watch over a production of his trilogy — “Voyage,” “Shipwreck,” and “Salvage,” collectively known as “The Coast of Utopia.” The trilogy had opened in London in 2002, and transferred to Lincoln Center in 2006. Now, in a sense, it was coming home. The majority of the characters, though exiled, are from Russia (the most notable exception being a German guy named Karl Marx), and, for the first time, they would be talking in Russian, in a translation of Stoppard’s text. Ever courteous, he wanted to be present, during rehearsals, to offer notes of encouragement and advice. These were delivered through an interpreter, since Stoppard speaks no Russian. One day, at lunch, slices of an anonymous meat were produced, and Stoppard asked what it was. “That is,” somebody said, seeking the correct English word, “language.”

Since this is a blog mostly about language, you have no doubt seen where that answer came from.

(more…)

Casual Outings

March 17, 2021

The current issue of The G&LR (The Gay & Lesbian Review) — volume 28, number 2, March-April 2021 — is in fact the 150th issue of the magazine, and comes as a book, Casual Outings (plus a minimal, 15-page, supplement of book reviews, without any of the customary articles). The front cover:


(#1) (from p. 64) [The illustrator Hefling] is now a retired professor, having taught theology, philosophy, and Great Books at Boston College for thirty years. Besides drawing and (digital) painting, his artistic pursuits include calligraphy and manuscript illumination.

(more…)

Gauld on adaptations for the screen

February 27, 2021

A vein of cartoonist Tom Gauld’s work that I’d been unaware of, but then #3 below turned up on Facebook today: cartoons on adaptations of books for the screen (movies or tv). In chronological order below.

(more…)

The bristly brute

February 24, 2021

On Reddit on 2/22, posted by u/Tom7454:

“On the anniversary of Arthur Schopenhauer’s birth, David Bather Woods, a Schopenhauer expert at the University of Warwick, recommends five books on Schopenhauser.”

The typo was quoted on Facebook on 2/22  by Wendy Thrash, who explained the intervention of Schopenhauser:

“Because nobody wants to read about Schopenhauer.”

The pointer is to Five Books, a site with book recommendations from authorities; each recommendation is for five books on a specific subject, in this case David Bather Woods on Arthur Schopenhauer:

(#1)

Which inspired me to light verse:

Schopenhauser
Was a schnauzer
A bristly brute that
Played the flute

(more…)

Ambiguities, identities, and bullshit artistry

February 17, 2021

A while back on Facebook, the following exchange — call it X1 — appeared out of the blue:

Dennis Lewis: In Hyacinth’s defense, I doubt many natives of Britain know the Super Bowl is being played tomorrow.

It’s like Mrs. Bucket’s American counterpart asking if the World Cup [AZ: the World Cup, the soccer contest, has a trophy, but it’s not in the form of a cup] has hand-painted periwinkles [AZ: flowers suitable as decorations on teacups].

Hyacinth Bouquet > Dennis Lewis: Sheridan has a large collection of sports cups.

I could recognize familiar stuff in there, but was also baffled by parts of it. Gamely, however, I responded to the developing discussion of ambiguities in cup:

AZ > Hyacinth Bouquet: sports cups (for insertion in an athletic supporter / jockstrap) are rarely made of bone china, for obvious reasons. Sometimes, beauty must give way to practicality.

So I’ll start with that.

(more…)

Hello, sailor

February 16, 2021

(This posting is about (real or fictive) sexual encounters between men, sometimes discussed in street language, so it’s not for kids or the sexually modest.)

The Daily Jocks ad from 2/15, under the header:


(#1) With the motor boat emoji (there’s a ferry emoji that might have done the job here, with a bad pun as a bonus)

(more…)

The whale and the smartphone

February 10, 2021

The Dale Coverly Speed Bump cartoon of 4/25/18, yet another instance of the cartoon meme of Ahab and the whale, this time showing only the whale —  but the whale in communication with  Ahab via their smartphones:

v

(See the Page on this blog on comic conventions, including the cartoon meme of Ahab and the whale.)

(more…)

The octocrat

February 9, 2021

Yesterday’s (2/8) Wayno/Piraro Bizarro, with a pun on autocrat: octocrat, itself a portmanteau of octopus and autocrat:


(#1) (If you’re puzzled by the odd symbols in the cartoon — Dan Piraro says there are 2 in this strip — see this Page.)

To come: notes on the words involved; some facts about octopuses that make them symbolically powerful; the octopus in political cartoons; and Wayno’s title for this cartoon, “Eight Arms to Oppress You”, with its allusion to the Ring verse from Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings.

(more…)

Two remarkable cartoon books

February 5, 2021

… edited by Bob Eckstein and published by Princeton Architectural Press:

The Ultimate Cartoon Book of Book Cartoons (by the World’s Greatest Cartoonists), 2019. (33 contributors)


(#1) Bob and the Book Cartoons cover

Everyone’s a Critic: The Ultimate Cartoon Book (by the World’s Greatest Cartoonists), 2020. (37 contributors)


(#2) The Critic cover

The books are physically beautiful; they are also affectionate tributes to independent bookstores and to cartoonists as a group. (The very American boast world’s greatest points to the strongly American focus of the books — a very heavy concentration of New Yorker cartoonists, in fact, though others are included.)

(more…)