I love these stories.
A fun piece by Joseph Tartakovsky in the New York Times about that most groaned-over humor genre, the pun.
Surveying how the great comic writers have viewed puns, he notes that “Jane Austen puns once, in ‘Mansfield Park,’ and it serves to impeach the moral character of the offender.” I might add that O’Brian’s Captain Aubrey is an inveterate punster, and his habit mainly serves to illustrate that though generally good-humored, the Captain has a stunted sense of humor. (The title pun is his. I’ll find others when I have the novels in front of me.)
Also, needless to say, we here at the Junior Ganymede concur with Tartovsky’s selection of the greatest humor writer of the 20th century.
To make his horror perfect, Caesar, hemmed about at the foot of a statue by his friends’ impatient knives, discovers among the faces and the blades the face of Marcus Junius Brutus, his ward, perhaps his very son–and so Caesar stops defending himself, and cries out “Et tu, Brute?” Shakespeare and Quevedo record that pathetic cry.
Fate is partial to repetitions, variations, symmetries. Nineteen centuries later, in the southern part of the province of Buenos Aires, a gaucho is set upon by other gauchos, and as he falls he recognizes a godson of his, and says to him in gentle remonstrance and slow surprise (these words must be heard, not read): “Pero, ché!” He dies, but he does not know that he has died so that a scene can be played out again.
We’re all going to be drowned under a four-inch tidal wave of doom. All because of global warming! My poor children.
Some NYU students rig up a wardrobe and create “Narnia” on campus, though with fewer fauns, dwarfs, etc., and more pot. Money quote from university spokesman, ruthlessly mellow-harshing: “There’s nothing against the rules about declaring an alcove a magic kingdom. If students want to get together in a room and jam and sing together, that’s fine. If they want to call it ‘Narnia,’ that’s fine, too. If they want to do those things and smoke marijuana, that’s a problem.”
This feller Woods is a yellow-bellied skunk.
It was the late Mr. Gilbert K. Chesterton who was led to observe that the deranged suffer not from a deficit of reason but from a deficit of everything else. On this, as in other matters, sir, I find him an invaluable guide. Thank you, sir.
Give smart Mormons their due, they do some interesting stuff sometimes. I never saw the zombie theme in Nephi’s commentary on Isaiah before.
Yuh want yer rights? Yuh got ‘em. Git off yer fundament ‘n exercise ‘em.
JournoList is back in the news with a leaked thread. Full disclosure: my JournoList moniker is Marty Peretz.
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