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.



A Blank Map vs. A Blank Page

There are crucial differences between a blank map and a blank page. Unlike a blank page, a blank map:
  • is designed by a cartographer
  • is a frame
  • represents a space or "territory"
  • has orientation
  • is readable
  • has accuracy
  • suggests scale (though may sacrifice exactitude in favor of visual utility)
  • is informative (unavailability of data does not equal nonexistence of data)
  • is something unexpected
There is nothing so perfect as a blank map. A blank map represents:
  • simplicity
  • all that can still be discovered
  • infinite creative possibilities
  • a clean slate
  • a future of one's own making
  • the difference between emptiness and nothingness
  • freedom from error
  • freedom from distortion
  • freedom from bias
  • organization
  • openness
  • changeability
  • purity
  • unity
  • an unformed universe waiting to be shaped
Below are pages from the Carte Blanche Atlas of Uncharted Territories.  The softcover edition is currently available from Amazon.com for $8.


October 19, 2017 (permalink)

"In your sweet presence the rest of the world is a dead blank to me."  From Pick Me Up, 1893.
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September 20, 2017 (permalink)

If our eyes aren't deceiving us, this is a map of The Unknown Sea.  From The Unknown Sea by Clemence Housman, 1898.
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August 30, 2017 (permalink)

Here's the floorplan of "the house that was not," from The Shape of Fear, and Other Ghostly Tales by Elia Wilkinson Peattie, 1898.
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August 4, 2017 (permalink)

What you can see from the Pyrenees.  From Le Rire, 1905.
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May 29, 2017 (permalink)

Here's a blank map of the North Pole, from Andy's Adventures on Noah's Ark by Douglas Zabriskie Doty, 1902.
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May 21, 2017 (permalink)

Note the orb.  Twenty Years' Experience As a Ghost Hunter by Elliott O'Donnell, 1917.
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May 6, 2017 (permalink)

From Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy by Moses Stuart, 1842.
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April 22, 2017 (permalink)

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April 21, 2017 (permalink)

"It should be called Number Nothing, No Man's Street, Nowhere."
—Beverley Nichols, No Man's Street (via Jonathan Caws-Elwitt)
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April 19, 2017 (permalink)

"Right there at the bottom of the page where the map ends. A whole other place. As if I don't have enough new stuff to think about." —Patrick Ness, The Knife of Never Letting Go
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March 22, 2017 (permalink)

"Where the map ends is where the world ends." —Sword of Tilk Trilogy: Book One: Worlds Apart
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February 27, 2017 (permalink)

"'Yes, no doubt about it, the map ends at this juncture.'  Windza sat down.  'So what do we do now, turn back?'" —A. C. Wright, The Stone
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February 15, 2017 (permalink)

Here is depicted, front and center, one of the vanished corners of bygone Glasgow.  We can now confirm that it is 100% accurate.
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February 3, 2017 (permalink)

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December 16, 2016 (permalink)

"It is not down in any map; true places never are."
—Herman Melville
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November 10, 2016 (permalink)

Here's a blank map of the moon, from The Lunar World by Josiah Crampton, 1853.
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November 9, 2016 (permalink)

We're delighted by this review of our atlas of blank maps:
5-stars.  "This book is really something. I stumbled across Craig Conley/Professor Oddfellow in a very random fashion and was instantly intrigued by the non-linear, insightful musings. The writings display a certain literary mastery in its truly original style. One of my favorite quotes from this book: "... keep in mind that when one is at the center of things, every direction is straight ahead". This is my first purchase by this author and it won't be my last. If you are ready to delve into the exploration of concepts that will enhance the way you view the world, this book is for you." —Jessica
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August 19, 2016 (permalink)

"'Well, the map ends,' Jamie said, exasperated. 'I can't tell you what to do, the map ends.'" —Kate Ledger, Remedies
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June 28, 2016 (permalink)

"This space represents tears of grief, remorse, anguish, contrition, sorrow, regret, despair, rage, disappointment, blighted hopes, withered joys, &c., &c., &c., &c., &c."  From Judy, Or The London Serio-Comic Journal, 1871.
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December 23, 2015 (permalink)

"All before them was a sheet of whiteness."  From The Hand of Ethelberta by Thomas Hardy, 1876.

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Original Content Copyright © 2017 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.