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.
November 30, 2011

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from an 1892 issue of English Illustrated magazine.


[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1890 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads simply: "My rods."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you, but recent US surveys show that more women prefer to be addressed by their full name than by Ms. followed by the last name." —Deborah Dumaine & Elisabeth C. Healey, Instant-Answer Guide to Business Writing
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

November 29, 2011

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from an 1879 issue of Harper's magazine.


[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)
"The future?  There's no such thing as the future!"
Gustav Meyrink, Walpurgisnacht
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .


A Fine Line Between... (permalink)


A printed collection of A Fine Line Between... is now available from Amazon.com.
> read more from A Fine Line Between... . . .

November 28, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1884 issue of London Society Illustrated magazine.  The caption reads: "The misadventures of an amateur conjurer."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


A Rose is a ... (permalink)
York Rose"A rose is a rose but ... a rabbit is the moon."
Codices of México and Their Extraordinary History
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"A book is a version of the world.  If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return."
Salman Rushdie
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

November 27, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)


 
An illustration from Scribner's magazine, 1921.  Dedicated to Gordon Meyer, just the same.
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Whisked away by the devil: an illustration from an 1858 issue of Harper's magazine.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

Title page from The Ghost by Charles Churchill.

The hazy mirroring is due to a bleeding of the ink through the page. But how apropos: the words transcend one
plane and emerge on another. Note the period after the word ghost. This book’s title is truly a "death sentence.”

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .

November 26, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1862 issue of Harper's magazine.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"It is a basic concept that bears repeating: Effective communication requires repetition."
Harriet Hankin, The New Workforce
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .


Simple Answers (permalink)
Difficult Question? Here's a simple answer

"The answer is simple. ... Call the number.”

American Motorcyclist (July 1990)

If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
> read more from Simple Answers . . .

November 25, 2011

Go Out in a Blaze of Glory (permalink)
Ah, the good-old-days, when waiting for the next slide in a slide show was fraught with momentousness.  The caption reads, "Just at that moment the showman thrust [emphasis ours] a fresh slide into his lantern, and presented to them another scene even more startling than the first."  Today's Flash slide shows aren't nearly so flashy, eh?  How can a showman thrust [emphasis ours again, though all this thrusting is admittedly wearing us out] a JPG?  We're reminded of beloved British comedian Stewart Lee, who recently asked his audience if anyone was old enough to remember when there were actually things, like letters written on paper or music recorded onto plastic discs.  This item from Frank Leslie's Illustrated, 1891, will forever make us pine for the nearly unbearable drama of magic lantern slides every time we open a lousy JPG.


> read more from Go Out in a Blaze of Glory . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1913 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Fairy Princess, last night I was a goldfish: to-night I am an enchanted lover."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"A backlink — this may surprise you — is a link back to your site."
Peter Kent, Search Engine Optimization For Dummies
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

November 24, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1922 issue of Century Illustrated magazine.  The caption reads: "It was a moment of unendurable silence when anything monstrous might happen."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
The Shakespeare Papers dedicated an entire issue to one-letter words, and here's one of the pages we contributed.


> read more from The Right Word . . .


Call it a Hunch (permalink)
"Call it a hunch."
"Call it anything you like, it's still odd."
Sue Grafton, U is for Undertow


A still from the perennially hilarious Young Frankenstein.
> read more from Call it a Hunch . . .

November 23, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A floating house party from an 1881 issue of Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly magazine.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)
"Don't take this the wrong way.  I've been down that road, so I'm the last person to criticize.  All I'm saying is, watch it."
Darlene Quinn, Twisted Webs
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Unsubstantiated Insubstantiality ~

Portrait of Thomas Edison from Men of Science.

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .

November 22, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1912 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "I saw the figure gliding toward me, its death-mask grinning as if with pleasure to find at least the room inhabited by a human—I marked the eyeholes of doom, seeming to glow red in the fire-lit room, and the bony hand holding on high what I guessed, I knew, to be a cup of poison meant for me!"


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


A Rose is a ... (permalink)
Lancaster Rose"'A rose is a rose is a rose is a rose' — and enough is enough is enough."
—Shana Alexander, "The Case for Jean Harris," New York Magazine (April 7, 1986)
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .


Call it a Hunch (permalink)
"For a man who denies belief in the paranormal, you're putting a lot of faith in a hunch."
Kay Hooper, Touching Evil (2001), as if describing the plot of Young Frankenstein


A still from the perennially hilarious Young Frankenstein.
> read more from Call it a Hunch . . .

November 21, 2011

Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
Someone should write a book entitled:

My Emphasis: Notes from an Attentive Reader

[thank you, Jonathan Caws-Elwitt!]
> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1893 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Death the final sovereign of the world."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
I'm older than I look.
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

November 20, 2011

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from a 1915 issue of Century Illustrated magazine.


[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .


Semicolon's Dream Journal (permalink)
I dreamed of invented compound words, deliberate misspellings, and the grammar of gossip.


Prof. Oddfellow offers this free vintage clip-art question mark, originally appearing in a 1914 issues of Harper's Magazine and painstakingly restored to its original glory. The image is available for download in high-resolution GIF and vector EPS formats.
> read more from Semicolon's Dream Journal . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Unsubstantiated Insubstantiality ~

Portrait from Memoir of William Carey.

"The strong light rendered the apparition invisible to hiseyes.” —Justinus Kerner, "The Ghost-Seer of Prevorst”

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .

November 19, 2011

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from an 1864 issue of Harper's magazine.


[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .


It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"The message is clear but bears repeating: Motors are servants to the systems they are connected to and cannot be evaluated alone."
Steve Doty & Wayne C. Turner, Energy Management Handbook
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .


Simple Answers (permalink)
Difficult Question? Here's a simple answer

"The answer is simple.  Ask no one but the author of the act.”

The Twentieth Century (1877)

If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
> read more from Simple Answers . . .

November 18, 2011

The Right Word (permalink)
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Ponce de León Revealed as the Legendary "Ninth Immortal” of Chinese Mythology

St. Augustine, Florida - The saintly "Eight Immortals” of ancient Chinese folklore are finally ready to play ball as an unlikely ninth comes up to bat: famed Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León (1474 - ∞).

De León’s highly unusual autograph reveals a desire for eternal life that transcends his well-known quest for the Fountain of Youth.  The serpentine lines of his elaborate signature trace back to the primitive magical diagrams of Taoism, the native religion of China. 

De León’s signature is a talismanic ideograph composed of "heavenly characters” from ancient Chinese "cloud script.”  This strange, stylized calligraphy of sacred symbols for cosmic truth was meant to transform an ordinary piece of paper into a passport for visiting the other (spiritual) world.  In De León’s case, the figurative other world doubled as the literal New World.

Note that the Latin alphabetic characters of De León’s signature are flanked by two Taoist ideograms, to be read right to left.  At first glance the cloud script resembles two serpents winding around rods of Asclepius (an apt symbol of healing and rejuvenation) or perhaps the Taoist equivalent of "footprints of the Buddha” (if the enlightened one were wearing two-toed mitten-style slippers).  However, the ideograms are actually two brimming chalices, wordlessly symbolic of an overflowing cornucopious primordial essence.  The first chalice is worldly, the second celestial.

De León’s immortality is written into his very signature.  But the aim of Taoism is not mere longevity.  The highest goal of the Taoist sage is to transcend the human realm and to unite with the eternal Cosmos.  To attain this goal via an elixir of healing waters is the debased "earth approach,” condemned by the great masters.  The genuine "heaven approach” involves dedicated meditation to align one’s vital energies with the universal flow.

De León now ranks as a idol of imperishability and prosperity alongside Immortal Woman He, Royal Uncle Cao, Iron-Crutch Li, Lan Caihe, Lü Donbin, Philosopher Han Xiang, Elder Zhang Guo, and Han Zhongli.


> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
Staring into the depths: an illustration from an 1897 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "There's a thing in that ocean that would astonish you if you saw it."

Dedicated to Jonathan due to "things."


[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you, but we all love somebody sometimes with all of our heart in spite of common sense and social barriers." —Judith Petres-Balogh, Beyond Conventions (2002)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

November 17, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1922 issue of Century Illustrated magazine.  The caption reads: "He never removed his attention from the thread of red sand trickling from bulb to bulb."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
The Shakespeare Papers dedicated an entire issue to one-letter words, and here's one of the pages we contributed.


> read more from The Right Word . . .


On One Condition (permalink)
Yes, you may . . . on one condition:

"That you forgive yourself."  —Roxanne St. Claire, Edge of Sight
> read more from On One Condition . . .

November 16, 2011

Do-Re-Midi (permalink)
It's not every day that one's photo of the Temple of the Forbidden Eye is used to illustrate a Doom Metal / Death Metal / Black Metal track entitled "Under Rotting Sky."  But today isn't just any day, and "Under Rotting Sky" isn't just any Doom Metal / Death Metal / Black Metal track.  Consider yourself th-angst, Pseudomancer!


> read more from Do-Re-Midi . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1895 issue of Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly magazine.  The caption reads: "The San Francisco demon."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"In the end, why shouldn't a madman rule the world?"
Gustav Meyrink, Walpurgisnacht
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Unsubstantiated Insubstantiality ~

Portrait from Memoir of Maj.-Gen. George H. Thomas.

“He’s here, or it’s the ghost of his hat!” —Frank Dumont, The Cuban Spy

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .

November 15, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration of a seance from a 1900 issue of The Strand magazine.  The caption reads: "'There is much power,' said the Frenchman."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook:


Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

photo by Cobalt 123
"'George W. Bush is the Antichrist,' Anna said, apparently apropos of nothing."
Nevada Barr, Winter Study
> read more from Apropos of Nothing . . .

November 14, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)
Here's an example of "air quotes" from 1893:

[Said of an expletive:]  "It isn't any harm when you crook your finger for quotation-marks."
Amélie Rives, Barbara Dering (1893), p. 124
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1895 issue of Century Illustrated magazine.  The caption reads: "Peach day."

Dedicated to Teresa Burritt.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


A Rose is a ... (permalink)
York Rose"A rose is a rose, but a rosé is 'white.'"
Wine for Dummies
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .

November 13, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
"Keep out of these woods":  an illustration from a 1922 issue of Century Illustrated magazine.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Someone Should Write a Book on ... (permalink)
An illustration from a 1916 issue of Scribner's magazine.  The caption reads: "And now you'll never, never write the great American novel!"


> read more from Someone Should Write a Book on ... . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Unsubstantiated Insubstantiality ~

Portrait from The Life of Captain John Smith.

"A vague, almost ghostly outline, losing itself, in shadows, among the tombs.” —Mary V. Spencer

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .

November 12, 2011

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from an 1864 issue of Harper's magazine.


[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .


It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"The point bears repeating here.  The issue is not whether mistakes are made, but whether anyone learns from them."
Morgan W. McCall et al., The Lessons of Experience
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .


Simple Answers (permalink)
Difficult Question? Here's a simple answer

"The answer is simple ... an insecure and inflated ego.”

Miller Williams, Making a Poem (2006)

If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
> read more from Simple Answers . . .

November 11, 2011

I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
The Toronto Standard on our latest book, Franzlations:

Gary Barwin, Hugh Thomas and Craig Conley use their source material only as a starting point, reworking Kafka’s writings into "imaginary parables” and invented aphorisms. The man himself would appreciate their explanation: "Sometimes this means keeping the cage and replacing the bird.”
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1894 issue of The Strand magazine.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
The Shakespeare Papers dedicated an entire issue to one-letter words, and here's one of the pages we contributed.


> read more from The Right Word . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you . . . The placebo effect has its own power and legitimacy."
Stephen P. Kelner, Motivate Your Writing! (2005)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

November 10, 2011

Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
After working for two years on Franzlations: The Imaginary Kafka Parables, we found ourselves in St. Augustine in search of a cure for phantom spider legs syndrome.


> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1896 issue of Century Illustrated magazine.  The caption reads: "The midnight presence of the uncanny."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)
"Now, please don't take this the wrong way, we value your work immensely, but we've all been a little worried about you, and, well ... we think it might be good for you to get some rest."
Olga Grushin, The Dream Life of Sukhanov
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .

November 9, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1901 issue of The Strand magazine.  The caption reads: "Wabbling jellies of knowledge."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)
"You know, the terrible thing is that ... that you never grow old."
Gustav Meyrink, Walpurgisnacht
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Unsubstantiated Insubstantiality ~

Portrait from Memoir of the Honorable Abbott Lawrence.

In this haunting, Laurence’s ghost appears four times, three of which resemble film negatives. Note also that the scanning machine has graced Laurence’s portrait with a striped aura.

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .

November 8, 2011

Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore (permalink)
Gordon spotted our Divination by Punctuation sitting among good company at Chicago's Quimby's Bookstore.  Thanks, Gordon!


> read more from Hindpsych: Erstwhile Conjectures by the Sometime Augur of Yore . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
Shooting a serpent in a stone circle: an illustration from a 1900 issue of The Strand magazine.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
"Every sentence includes an infinity of words; one perceives only a few of them, the others being in the infinite or being imaginary."
—Raymond Queneau, qtd. in OULIPO: A Primer of Potential Literature
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Book of Whispers (permalink)
"It is not a good idea to combine symbols; the forces that stand behind them can easily start to mingle."
The Angel in the West Window, Gustav Meyrink's novel of the Elizabethan magus John Dee (our own 9th cousin)
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .

November 7, 2011

The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

Praise for The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine:

I love the way Conley creates these series of what I want to call visual poems, only by default--only because there is no proper designation for a novel form. [In The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine] we experience juxtaposed images of historical and not-so-historical personages cleanly engraved and then suddenly disappearing in a xeroxial fog of reproduction, a Banquo's feast of mirrors. These visual-textual series allow Conley to create the visual analogues of the serial poem, and into these delicious confections he works some of the best quotes in the English language (and many others, translated) to create an almost Midrashically complex, anachronistic interplay between image and text that often leads the mind to question the impossible interface that occurs daily--i.e., to ask how it is that words and objects could ever even come to a sort of harmony in the first place? It begins to seem beyond us. And beyond us is the metaphysical. So the circle runs, chasing its tail like the cat in that Siouxsie and the Banshees song. —W. B. Keckler, author of Sanskrit of the Body
* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .


Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1897 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


A Rose is a ... (permalink)
Lancaster Rose"A rose is a rose (even without a bloom)."
The American Rose Annual (1972)
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .

November 6, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1922 issue of Century Illustrated magazine.  The caption reads: "She was sifting from palm to palm the red dust that is dust of a vanished race."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Uncharted Territories (permalink)
A blank(ed) map from a 1901 issue of Scribner's magazine.  The caption reads, "He had seen an empire ... wiped off the map in twenty minutes."


> read more from Uncharted Territories . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Unsubstantiated Insubstantiality ~

Portrait from Memoir of Eli Whitney.

"A faint shadow stole over the room; while the countenance of the Medium had become so gloomy that the shadow seemed really only a reflection of it.” —Blackwood’s Magazine

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .

November 5, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1863 issue of Harper's magazine.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


It Bears Repeating (permalink)
"Begin by paying attention to your breath (and, yes, I know I'm repeating myself, but it bears repeating—we forget so fast and so often)."
James S. Gordon, Unstuck
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .


Simple Answers (permalink)
Difficult Question? Here's a simple answer

"The answer is simple:  It’s a government cover- up!”

Network World (Jan. 10, 2000)

If this is not the answer you’re looking for,
click here for a different answer.
> read more from Simple Answers . . .

November 4, 2011

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
Staring into the depths: an illustration from a 1910 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "For a long while she sat, her cheek resting on one palm, looking fixedly into space."


[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
"If I were a writer, how I would enjoy being told the novel is dead.  How liberating to work in the margins, outside a central perception.  You are the ghoul of literature. Lovely."
Don Delillo
> read more from The Right Word . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you, but in order to escape yourself you must first stop trying to forget your worries, doubts, and fears."
Guy Finley, The Secret of Letting Go (2007)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

November 3, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1919 issue of Harper's magazine.


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
The Shakespeare Papers dedicated an entire issue to one-letter words, and here's one of the pages we contributed.


> read more from The Right Word . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"This is the really incomprehensible side of humanity, people never have time for anything."
—Leonora Carrington, The Hearing Trumpet

(On a related note, here's our earlier list of "The Problem[s] With People.")
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

November 2, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1910 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Wallingford hung his head.  Toad had been right.  The booger man had got him."


[Inexplicable images from generations ago invite us to restore the lost sense of immediacy.  We follow the founder of the Theater of Spontaneity, Jacob Moreno, who proposed stringing together "now and then flashes" to unfetter illusion and let imagination run free.  The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Restoring the Lost Sense . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook (and dedicated to Hugh Thomas):


Printed collections of Forgotten Wisdom diagrams are available: Volume I from Mindful Greetings and Volumes II, III and IV from Amazon.  Selected posters are also available via Zazzle.
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


A Rose is a ... (permalink)
York Rose"A rose is a rose is a rose; but the examined rose is a sonnet."
Natalie Angier, The Canon
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .

November 1, 2011

The Right Word (permalink)
Thanks to Nathalie Foy for exploring some of the surprisingly ghoulish definitions in our dictionary of one-letter words:

http://nathaliefoy.wordpress.com/2011/10/31/one-letter-words-a-dictionary-by-craig-conley/
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from an 1884 issue of Harper's magazine.


[The images we have collected for this series came at a tremendous price, which we explained previously.]
> read more from Staring Into the Depths . . .


Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out (permalink)
Momus suggests that there are "few tales which would not be improved by the addition of the phrase 'suddenly, a shot rang out.'"
Decide for yourself as we alter the opening lines of . . .

THE VELVETEEN RABBIT by Margery Williams

There was once a velveteen rabbit, and in the beginning he was really splendid.  He was fat and bunchy, as a rabbit should be; his coat was spotted brown and white, he had real thread whiskers, and his ears were lined with pink sateen.  On Christmas morning, when he sat wedged in the top of the Boy's stocking, with a sprig of holly between his paws, the effect was charming.  Suddenly, a shot rang out.

(Thanks, June!)
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Unsubstantiated Insubstantiality ~

Portrait from The Autobiography of Rev. Thomas Conant.

“A dim, indistinct outline of a ghostly face staring out.” —James Coates, Photographing the Invisible

* The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine promises real ghosts, actual hauntings, and necromancy by proxy.
> read more from The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine . . .



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Original Content Copyright © 2014 by Craig Conley. All rights reserved.