Tag: books

My first best friends.

First Graf: Moby-Dick

SO FAR, IT HAS TAKEN me two years to read Herman Melville’s classic of monomania and cetology, mostly because I don’t want to finish. And so I haven’t, yet. It’s the language. Melville rolls so many word-clad notions around his…

First Graf: Ringworld

SINCE 1970, LARRY NIVEN HAS written four books and a number of articles concerning the Ringworld: an Earth’s orbit-diameter ribbon made from disassembled planets and populated by its builders with all manner of adaptive species, each with its own culture…

First Graf: Winnie-the-Pooh

“GENTLE FUN FOR ENGLISH TAOISTS” is as good a description as any of A. A. Milne’s two booksful of stories of the Hundred-Acre Wood’s most famous resident. These are not children’s tales any more than “Bullwinkle” or “Le Morte d’Arthur”…

First Graf: VALIS

IN FEBRUARY AND MARCH OF 1974, science-fiction author Philip K. Dick had a series of experiences which might have been psychosis, hallucination or divine grace. Phil often tended toward the last explanation, at least in print, and based a handful…

First Graf: The DQ of UK

THIS TITLE DOESN’T REFER TO either German nobility, soft ice cream or the British Isles, but the first paragraph (“graf” in news-speak) of one of my favorite novellae, H.P. Lovecraft‘s The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath. Though mostly famous for his…

Harvey Pekar Z”TL

A MOMENT OF SILENCE WOULD be inappropriate to mark the death this morning of autobiographer, comix legend and music critic Harvey Pekar, since (depending on your view) the former Cleveland Heights resident is right now either a) arguing with “God,”…

5thoughts: James Joyce

IN HONOR OF BLOOMSDAY 2010, five thoughts on the man who made it possible: 1. James Joyce is yet another proof that one man’s mind can be bigger than his skull. (If not, generational banks of Joyce scholars would have…