Archive for the ‘Writers’ Category

Briefly noted: the disavowal drill

August 4, 2019

In today’s NYT Magazine (in print), a Jason Parham comment “This is not a drill”, on a 7/21 (in print) piece by Claudia Rankine, the comment turned into a thumbnail illustration by Giacomo Gambineri:

The Magrittean disavowal Ceci n’est pas une perceuse ‘This is not a drill’ (referring to une perceuse, a device for making — piercing — holes in things), but playing on the English catchphrase This is not a drill, conveying  ‘This is the real thing, this is serious’.

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Follow-up: John Rechy

May 26, 2019

Yesterday’s posting “High 5 from a bison”, all about number(s), ended with some exposition of John Rechy’s 1967 novel Numbers, about a male hustler collecting lots of tricks — numbers of numbers — on the streets and in the parks of Los Angeles. Now two follow-ups: Soft Cell’s (“Tainted Love”) musical tribute to the novel, and notes on Rechy’s life and career, still going at 88.

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A Ceci disavowal

April 24, 2019

From Jeff Bowles on Facebook on the 12th, this Magritte-based composition:

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Apparently a Magrittean disavowal (there’s a Page on such disavowals here), playing on Magritte’s wry late 1920s painting La Trahison des images (The Betrayal / Treachery of Images which shows a pipe, with the painting labeling itself Ceci n’est pas une pipe ‘This is not a pipe’. Here we get Louis Flint Ceci, on the left, objecting in astonishment that what’s on the right is not (a) Ceci; instead, it’s (a) Davisson.

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Easter egg quotations

April 13, 2019

[The body of this posting vanished from WordPress on 4/23/19. Below is a summary of its content, without most of the original bells and whistles; when I finished the 4/13/19 posting, I deleted the files of background material for it, and I no longer have the heart to reconstruct it all. (By some software freak, the comments from the original posting were preserved.)

If you’re looking for my posting about Louis Flint Ceci and Magrittean disavowals, that’s “A Ceci disavowal” at:

https://arnoldzwicky.org/2019/04/24/a-ceci-disavowal/ ]

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Cold Comfort Brooklyn

April 27, 2018

Characterless, Driverless, Cashless, and Wireless. In today’s Zippy:

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The novelist in the fortune cookie

April 22, 2018

In the March 12th New Yorker, a Talk of the Town piece by Ian Parker on novelist Jay McInerney and his career writing fortune cookie fortunes: in print, “Pithy”; on-line, “When Jay McInerney writes your fortune: The novelist’s new line of fortune cookies are fit for a cynic: “If at first you don’t succeed, try Botox.””:

Caricature by Tom Bachtell

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Margalit Fox, Bruce Weber, and more

April 30, 2017

The immediate impetus for this posting is a “Fresh Air” piece on NPR on the 27th, “For ‘New York Times’ Obit Writers, ‘Death Is Never Solicitous Of A Deadline'”, in which NYT writers Margalit Fox and Bruce Weber were interviewed in connection with the appearance of the documentary Obit (released on 4/15/16) in theaters:

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Bruce Weber and Margalit Fox have written obituaries for thousands of people, ranging from heads of state to the inventor of the Etch-a-Sketch. They are featured in the new documentary Obit.

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More Ravening

January 24, 2016

Today’s Zippy returns to Elgar Durwin Poboy and perhaps his most famous poem, “Once upon a bowling alley”, ultimately about those campfire treats s’mores:

We last heard about Elgar Durwin Poboy in a January 7th posting, which had only a bit of the Edgar Allan Poe poem “The Raven” that E. D. Poboy pays homage to here.

Lots of word substitutions, repeated references to bowling, plus some place names (Hoboken, West New Haven) and a figure (Charlie Callas) from pop culture.

Frances Kroll Ring

January 15, 2016

Posting a Zippy yesterday about F. Scott Fitzgerald reminded me of one of 2015’s more remarkable obituaries, for Frances Kroll Ring, who was Fitzgerald’s secretary and assistant. To put ths in context: Ring started working for Fitzgerald before I was born, and when the writer died, I was only three months old. Now I’m an old man, and Ring died only last June 18th (aged 99), a relic of times long gone by. Her story was told by J. R. Moehringer in the New York Times‘s “The Lives They Lived” issue on December 27th, under the heading “More Than a Secretary: She befriended F. Scott Fitzgerald and never let go”.

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Fractured Fitzgerald

January 14, 2016

Zippy continues today with another set of burlesques on quotations from famous writers:

F. Scott Fitzgerald, in the ridiculous guise of F-Stop Fitznebbish, and (like those who have preceded him) caricatured in a Pinhead muumuu.

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