CRAIG CONLEY (Prof. Oddfellow) is recognized by Encarta as “America’s most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation.” He has been called a “language fanatic” by Page Six gossip columnist Cindy Adams, a “cult hero” by Publisher’s Weekly, and “a true Renaissance man of the modern era, diving headfirst into comprehensive, open-minded study of realms obscured or merely obscure” by Clint Marsh. An eccentric scholar, Conley’s ideas are often decades ahead of their time. He invented the concept of the “virtual pet” in 1980, fifteen years before the debut of the popular “Tamagotchi” in Japan. His virtual pet, actually a rare flower, still thrives and has reached an incomprehensible size. Conley’s website is OneLetterWords.com.
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A Turkish Delight of musings on languages, deflations of metaphysics, vauntings of arcana, and great visual humor.
Staring Into the Depths

September 9, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Bohemian Paris of To-day by William Chambers Morrow (1899).  The caption reads: "In the passage to the death chamber."



September 6, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Hartmann the Anarchist by Edward Douglas Fawcett (1893).  The caption reads: "Looking down into space."



August 22, 2014 (permalink)

"Sally looked out across the world," from Sebastiani's Secret by S. E. Waller, 1897.



August 20, 2014 (permalink)

"The well of fate," from Following the Equator by Samuel Langhorne Clemens, 1897.



July 31, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Shafts from an Eastern Quiver by Charles Jodrell Mansford (1894).  The caption reads: "Headlong down the abyss."



June 3, 2014 (permalink)

Prof. Oddfellow gazes into the obsidian mirror at the Witchcraft Museum in Boscastle, England.  What the mirror revealed is a subject for another time.



June 1, 2014 (permalink)

"She saw no gleam of brightness anywhere" (The Quiver, 1890, pictured top).

"Now is a time of darkness, but great futures are planned in the darkest hours" (Congressional Record, Vol. 98, Pt. 9, 1952).

"Don't you see that silver light far away there?" (The Quiver, 1888, pictured bottom).




May 29, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from an 1887 issue of Frank Leslie's Pleasant Hours magazine.  The caption reads: "Billings adjusted the glass to his eye and looked again. 'By Jove, it's a horse-race!'"



May 15, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from a 1905 issue of The Quiver magazine.



May 7, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from a 1908 issue of The Windsor magazine.  The caption reads: "'Who be they, mother?' asked the child in an awed whisper."



April 16, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Clear as the Noon Day by Ethel Penrose (1893).  The caption reads: "Paul tried to peer into the gathering darkness."



February 13, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from The Divine Seal by Emma Louise Orcutt (1909).



February 8, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Jock of the Bushveld by Sir Percy Fitzpatrick (1907).  The caption reads: "The haunting mystery of eyes and nothing more."



January 17, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from The Ivory Snuff Box by Frederic Arnold Kummer (1912).  The caption reads: "There lay Richard, her husband, upon the floor, his face encircled by a ring of blinding light."



January 5, 2014 (permalink)

An illustration from Farewell Nikola by Guy Newell Boothly (1901).



November 30, 2013 (permalink)

An illustration from Etidorhpa, or The Strange History of a Mysterious Being and the Account of the Initiate's Remarkable Journey by John Uri Lloyd (1895).  The caption reads: "Facing the open window he turned the pupils of his eyes upward."



November 10, 2013 (permalink)

An illustration from an 1874 issue of London Society Illustrated magazine.  The caption reads: "They held the door partly open, and peered out into the dark night."



September 20, 2013 (permalink)

[A previous post, updated.]

"You are a vampire.  You look into the mirror and see yourself.  You then realize that you are the reflection, and the vampire can't see you." —Tenuous Pun

Prof. Oddfellow checks for fangs in a vampire mirror in Los Feliz, California.



August 22, 2013 (permalink)

An illustration from an 1860 issue of Punch magazine.



July 19, 2013 (permalink)

An illustration from a 1904 issue of Harper's magazine.  The caption reads: "Her eyes seemed to see a far image of struggling souls."





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