Youmans (pronounced like 'yeoman' with an 's' added) is the best-kept secret among contemporary American writers.--John Wilson, editor, Books and Culture.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Palace Reading Room

Since I somehow deleted the last few posts, I'll just clash my steely teeth together like a proper ogress and recommend somebody else's words. Some-smart-bodies. Who are not ogres or ogresses of the web but adepts who sit in the very heart of the web, spinning. Ones who don't delete the wrong posts! A bit feckless to annhilate one's very good news--not to mention the blasting of a first-rate chicken joke into the aether. . .

Items of interest, some old, some new:
Matt Cheney on speculative fiction for non-genre readers at
The Mumpsimus archives;
Jeff Vandermeer and Brooks Hansen on The Chess Garden--which I began reading, was deprived of at a most interesting point (like the unfortunate Miss Tilney in Northanger Abbey, except that my loss was due to the collosal avalanche of papers and books that has obliterated my writing room), unearthed, resumed reading while perched on top of a precarious mountain of books, and at last finished, trala!--at Vanderworld (July 13 post);
Kevin Smokler on writers and "new technologies," a lecture I must woefully need, given what I have just done in the Deletion Department, at Buzz, Balls, & Hype;
Robert Grey on a thing of curiosity, the BEA frolic, at
http://www.publishersmarketplace.com/members/shire15/;
and much at http://thepage.name/.

Good news keeps . . .


1 comment:

  1. Midnight Reader12:05 PM, May 27, 2005

    Why did the chicken cross the road?

    Never did! Once upon a time at my grandparent's place old chickens could find cover among the sheep or geese for a few months, hoping to age past the point of cookability. That hope died on September 19, 1893, the day that Claude Peirgord invented the pressure cooker.

    MacBain women can fricassee a hen to a perfection that could break your heart. My grandmother could look at a chicken and know if the last egg had been laid. No chicken was too old or too tough to endure l'device Peirgord. And no senior chicken in my grandparent's coop was fast enough to cross the road to an at best iffy freedom. Thus the popular expression, "Sure as a chicken's fate."

    To this day September 19 is still celebrated by my family as a major holiday. First, we get several of the family's oldest pressure cookers warming on the coal stove. Then we show a dozen chickens to my mother, who picks out the noncontributors and soon-to-be's. People in the family under 12 and over 75 give the chickens a 30-yard head start to the road. Just because we like the way it looks, we move six or seven sheep and some geese between the people and the chickens, Then my cousin 'Brujder drives a 1942 Hudson slowly down the road [it's the only time anyone will let him behind the wheel of anything resembling a car]. That’s the signal for the chickens to try for the road; they seem to understand this.

    Right after the action, my Uncle Walter likes to drain the chickens by hanging them by their feet from a clothesline [he's 'Brujder's father, so that's understandable]. If he was rabbit hunting earlier that morning we bring the younger children into the house about now.

    At least since I was 4 no chicken has made it to the near shoulder, let alone all the way across the road.

    We’ll begin a lovely new tradition this year. While the chickens cook, we’ll read “Ingledove” aloud to the family.

    ReplyDelete

Alas, I must once again remind large numbers of Chinese salesmen and other worldwide peddlers that if they fall into the Gulf of Spam, they will be eaten by roaming Balrogs. The rest of you, lovers of grace, poetry, and horses (nod to Yeats--you do not have to be fond of horses), feel free to leave fascinating missives and curious arguments.