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.
September 30, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration of a genie from a 1900 issue of The Strand magazine.  The caption reads: "'Wouldst thou still persuade me to linger?' he cried."


[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)
"Please don't take this the wrong way, but . . . I need a few days."
Gaby Triana, Riding the Universe
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from Memoir of Reverend David Tappan Stoddard.

“But are we still confident there is, in the language of a modern philosopher, a ‘ghost in the machine’?” —George F. Will

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

September 29, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A ghostly illustration from an 1893 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 . . .


Call it a Hunch (permalink)
"Call it a hunch.  Call it grasping at straws.  Call it anything."
Mary Higgins Clark, A Stranger is Watching (2000)


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


Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

photo by Cobalt 123
Everything is now apropos of nothing.
Steve McKee, My Father's Heart (slightly paraphrased)
> read more from Apropos of Nothing . . .

September 28, 2011

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
Staring into the depths: an illustration from a 1916 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Moments of depression and discouragement came, of course, but her iron will carried her beyond them."


[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 — China has influenced certain Mexican arts and crafts.  Mexican lacquer ware, for example, follows the designs and techniques brought from China in 16th-century Spanish galleons that sailed the Pacific."
Popular Mechanics, Nov. 1947
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"A poet's work . . . to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world and stop it from going to sleep."
Salman Rushdie
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

September 27, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1891 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 . . .


A Rose is a ... (permalink)
York Rose"'Yes, I know,' she went on; 'you are one of the people that believe that a rose is a rose.  It is so many drachms of so many sorts of chemicals, and that's the end of it.  But brother Jim and I—we don't think so.  A rose is a great deal more than a rose; and the rose you see is a great deal less than the rose; and there's a conundrum for you.'"
—Saxe Holm, "My Tourmaline," The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine (1875)
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from An Autobiography by Hugh Miller.

“It was very dark, and the stone was only a ghostly blur.” —John Buchan, Witch Wood

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

September 26, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1903 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "The second pullet got possession of the child by a well-directed peck."


[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)
"There's nothing so enchanting as a glimpse of the innumerable mysteries that surround us."
—Vítězslav Nezval, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders


Image by Elisabeth Feldman.
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .


Telescopic Em Dashes (permalink)

 
*These em dashes are from Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy.  Some of our magnifications appear in Forgotten Wisdom Vol. II.
> read more from Telescopic Em Dashes . . .

September 25, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1920 issue of Harper's magazine.  The caption reads: "Which road, Ouija?"


[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 . . .


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.'"

What about the following variation, which we quote in our dictionary of magic words:

"‘Abracadabra,’ Charlene murmured to herself as she crossed against the traffic in the rain, ‘that’s an exotic word.’  Somewhere in the distance a bomb exploded softly.”
Kate Atkinson, Not the End of the World (2003)
> read more from Suddenly, A Shot Rang Out . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Believe it or not, there exists in the Anyplace a solitary chicken whose sole mission in life is to get to the other side of the road."
Peter David, Tigerheart
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

September 24, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1861 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)
"This idea bears repeating often.  If you let one actor arrive late, soon most of them will."
Marian Frances Monta & Jack R. Stanley, Directing for Stage and Screen
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .


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

"The answer is simple.  What the results reveal is that the context in which one lives is important.”

Mitchell A. Seligson, Challenges to Democracy in Latin American and the Caribbean (2007)

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

September 23, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1867 issue of Harper's magazine.  The caption reads: "The unspoken curse."

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 . . .


Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)
"Please don't take this the wrong way, but ... do you ... do you have anything that would tend to prove your innocence?"
Gerald Petievich, The Sentinel
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from The Life of John Milton.

“Enter the ghost in the machine.” —Igor Aleksander, Impossible Minds

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

September 22, 2011

Precursors (permalink)
Reminiscent of a famous scene in Disneyland's Haunted Mansion, here's an illustration from a 1902 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "From the smaller organ raved up a pandemonium of ghoulish execrations."


> read more from Precursors . . .


Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

photo by Cobalt 123
"Shipwrecks are apropos of nothing."
Stephen Crane, "The Open Boat"
> read more from Apropos of Nothing . . .


I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought (permalink)
"Books choose their authors; the act of creation is not entirely a rational and conscious one."
Salman Rushdie
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .

September 21, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1907 issue of The Strand magazine.  The caption reads: "All the crowd was bathed in whiteness."


[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 . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"Mathematics — this may surprise you or shock you some — is never deductive in its creation."
Douglas M. Campbell & John C. Higgins, Mathematics: People, Problems, Results, Vol. 2 (1984)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

September 20, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1898 issue of Wide World magazine.  The caption reads: "She played air after air."

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)
Lancaster Rose"A rose is a rose is a rose.  What else could a rose be?  Unfortunately this does not take us far."
William R. Carter, The Elements of Metaphysics
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from A Memoir of Mrs. Susanna Rowson.

“The wraith of her face faded altogether.” —J. R. Cain

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

September 19, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1896 issue of Pall Mall magazine.  The caption reads: "I can't help being pretty."


[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)
"Words too silly to be said should be sung."
Oscar Wilde [via DJMisc]
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Telescopic Em Dashes (permalink)

 
*These em dashes are from Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy.  Some of our magnifications appear in Forgotten Wisdom Vol. II.
> read more from Telescopic Em Dashes . . .

September 18, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1918 issue of Harper's magazine.  The caption reads: "Would you consider marrying me—and making a home for my dog?"


[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:


 
On a related note, here's the circular eddy resulting from a perfect spoon in a perfect cup, from Lectures in Magnetohydrodynamics by Dalton D. Schnack (in other words, we didn't make up this next diagram):

> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"The surprising truth is that, historically speaking, payola has often fostered musical diversity, rather than squelching it."
—James Surowiecki, The New Yorker (July 12, 2004)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

September 17, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1858 issue of Harper's magazine.  The caption reads: "What Aunt Betty saw."


[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 bears repeating: don't spend the night in a roach-infested dump if you can help it."
Liz Ruckdeschel & Sara James, What If . . . All Your Dreams Came True
> read more from It Bears Repeating . . .


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

"My answer is simple.  It’s expensive and counterproductive.”

Thomas F. Monteleone, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Writing a Novel (2004)

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

September 16, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration of senatorial decadence, from a 1906 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 . . .


Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)
"Don't take this the wrong way, but I've never been one for opening up to strangers at bars."
David Rosenfelt, Don't Tell a Soul
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from The Life of Samuel Johnson.

“It was hard to make him out in the poorly reproduced photocopy.” —Robert Harris, The Ghost

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

September 15, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1892 issue of Harper's magazine.  The caption reads: "There is a flock of yellow birds around her head."


[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 . . .


Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led (permalink)
"If you must pray, then pray to your invisible self; it is the only god that answers your prayers, other gods give you stones instead of bread.  Unhappy are they who pray to an idol and their prayers are heard: they lose their own selves, since they are no longer capable of believing that it was they themselves that answered their prayers."
—Gustav Meyrink, The Green Face
Who is your favorite imaginary saint?  Do share!
> read more from Neither Saint- Nor Sophist-Led . . .


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

"You take one first."  —Noah Boyd, The Bricklayer
> read more from On One Condition . . .

September 14, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1898 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Eats a butterfly."


[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)
"The poetic art is no more and no less than the repayment of old debts to life and to the mystery of life."
Vítězslav Nezval, in his foreword to Valerie and Her Week of Wonders
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you, but teachers actually feel a little hurt themselves when they catch students cheating."
Meg F. Schneider & David Goldin, Help! My Teacher Hates Me (1995)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

September 13, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1908 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 . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
What does a ringing bell communicate?

"come to me, come to me."
—Jean Ray, Malpertuis [emphasis ours, if we may be so bold]

Jozé Donoso's The Obscene Bird of the Night offers a different answer: "So let the churchbells ring, and the cattle bells / To let you know this love that in me wells."

However, Thomas Mann would seem to disagree:

Bells, bells, they swing and sway, they wag and weave through their whole arc on their beams, in their seats, hundred-voiced, in Babylonish confusion.  Slow and swift, blaring and booming—there is neither measure nor harmony, they talk all at once and all together, they break in even on themselves; on clang the clappers and leave no time for the excited metal to din itself out, for like a pendulum they are already back at the other edge, droning into its own droning; so that when echo still resounds: "In te Domine speravi" [In Thee, O Lord, I have hoped], it is uttering already "Beati quorum tecta sunt peccata" [Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven] into its own midst.  —Thomas Mann, The Holy Sinner [emphasis ours]

Mann adds a delicious tidbit.  Who is ringing the bells?  "It is the spirit of story-telling" [italics his].


> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from The Life of Thomas Jefferson.

“His amorphous face full of amorphous thought.” —Austin McGiffert Wright

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

September 12, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1903 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Lady Wondershoot, the village tyrant, inspected the phenomenon narrowly."


[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 is a rose.  That is a quote.  But what is a rose?  A rose is a rose is a rose tells you nothing.  My mother is a rose and what is my mother?"
Madeleine L'Engle, Camilla
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .


Telescopic Em Dashes (permalink)

 
*These em dashes are from Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy.  Some of our magnifications appear in Forgotten Wisdom Vol. II.
> read more from Telescopic Em Dashes . . .

September 11, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration of a spirit double from an 1889 issue of Frank Leslie's Popular Monthly magazine.  The caption reads: "It seemed almost like a luminous mist floating in through the window—and out of that mist slowly grew my own face and form."

Dedicated to Clint Marsh.


[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)
"Let's stay in this semidarkness while it lasts.  Notice how people and objects all look more mysterious in this dim light.  It's the phantoms of people and things we see, phantoms which, once light arrives, disappear into their unknown kingdom."
—Giorgio de Chirico, Hebdomeros
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .


The Only Certainty (permalink)
"The only certainty we enjoy now is that we are alive."
Jaime Batista, Epilogue: Time Machine Chronicles (2010)
> read more from The Only Certainty . . .

September 10, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1855 issue of Harper's magazine.  The caption reads: "Reveries of the cigar."


[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)
"My pen, animated in part by itself and animated in part by all the rest, flies into the lambent paper sky.  My pen is a wing and every word, borne by it and by its shadow on the paper, rushes towards either catastrophe or apotheosis."
Robert Desnos, Liberty or Love!
> read more from The Right Word . . .


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

"Here the answer is simple.  Nobody has such a right.”

Life Magazine (Jan. 12, 1948)

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

September 9, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1902 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "The great cat hurled itself at the white throat of the woman I loved."

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 . . .


Don't Take This the Wrong Way (permalink)
"I hope you don't take this the wrong way — but you really have beautiful eyes."
Gerald Schoenewolf, The Couples' Guide to Erotic Games
> read more from Don't Take This the Wrong Way . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from Samuel Daniel.

“His pale face visible as only a white smudge.” —Peter Straub, Ghost Story

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

September 8, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
A genie illustration from a 1900 issue of The Strand magazine.  The caption reads: "Through the smoke he dimly discerned the figure of a stranger."


[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)

Chicken over Hollywood, by Leif_Leif.
"When I was a little girl I thought chickens were the souls of dead actresses."
Leonora Carrington, The Stone Door
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Apropos of Nothing (permalink)

photo by Cobalt 123
Dedicated to Jonathan Caws-Elwitt:

"Then Iris added, 'Apropos of nothing,' but purely because she'd always wanted to say 'Apropos of nothing.'"
Paul Schmidtberger, Design Flaws of the Human Condition
> read more from Apropos of Nothing . . .

September 7, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from a 1900 issue of The Strand magazine.  The caption reads: "Actually impaled itself on the knife of an old woman."


[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 . . .


Rhetorical Questions, Answered! (permalink)
Q: How can I open the door when there is no keyhole?

A: Break through it with words, blows, prayers, or music.

Leonora Carrington, The Stone Door
> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"This may surprise you, but it's true — the first reader can usually tell within 10 pages whether or not the writer has what it takes." —Thomas F. Monteleone, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Writing a Novel
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

September 6, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
The secret of long-distance communication is revealed in this illustration from a 1913 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Fairy magic—telephone reality."


[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 . . .


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from Memoir of Josiah White.

“He felt himself transparent, insignificant, a shade of his former self.” —Dorothy West

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

September 5, 2011

Restoring the Lost Sense (permalink)
An illustration from an 1891 issue of The Strand magazine.  The caption reads: "The two genies."


[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"[Robert] Frost writes that a 'rose is a rose, / And was always a rose.'  He then goes on to explain that the 'theory now' is that it is not only the rose that is a rose, but the apple and pear and plum, too."
Deirdre J. Fagan, Critical Companion to Robert Frost
> read more from A Rose is a ... . . .


Telescopic Em Dashes (permalink)

 
*These em dashes are from Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy.  Some of our magnifications appear in Forgotten Wisdom Vol. II.
> read more from Telescopic Em Dashes . . .

September 4, 2011

Precursors (permalink)
Here's a percursor to the paranormal-erotica craze, from a 1906 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine.  The caption reads: "Hardly had my shaking hand found the door-knob when—merciful heaven!—I heard it returning."

Dedicated to Teresa Burritt.


> read more from Precursors . . .


Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? (permalink)
Wineries keep notoriously poor books, because there's no accounting for tasting.

(Thanks, Mike!)
> read more from Did You Hear the One I Just Made Up? . . .


This May Surprise You (permalink)
"The surprising truth, once understood, is the most wonderful revelation the human mind could receive or contain!"
Herbert W. Armstrong, Mystery of the Ages (1985)
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .

September 3, 2011

Staring Into the Depths (permalink)
An illustration from an 1856 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 . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
"The small is what allows for the transformative."
Geof Huth
> read more from The Right Word . . .


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

"The answer is simple:  maintain eye contact with the witness.”

David M. Malone, Effective Deposition (2007)

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


The Ghost in the [Scanning] Machine (permalink)

~ Amorphous Apparitions ~

Portrait from The Autobiography of Arthur Young.

"Although aspects of the ghost image can be reproduced through classical approaches, several features of the effect are purely quantum mechanical.” —Mark E. Brezinski, Optical Coherence Tomography

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

September 2, 2011

The Right Word (permalink)

Quill & Quire, Canada's magazine of book news and reviews, notes my latest collaboration:

Franzlations (New Star Books, $19 pa., Oct.), the new collaboration from Gary Barwin, Hugh Thomas, and Craig Conley, has nothing to do with Jonathan Franzen. Instead, it’s a reinterpretation and reinvention of the parables and aphorisms of Franz Kafka.
> read more from The Right Word . . .


Unicorns (permalink)
"Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano While Drinking from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children" is the applause-worthy title of Aurelio Voltaire Hernandez's new album.


> read more from Unicorns . . .


Colorful Allusions (permalink)
An illustration from a 1910 issue of Hampton's magazine.  The caption reads: "Who can ever doubt the magic potency of black?"


> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .


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

For Gary Barwin:


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 . . .

September 1, 2011

This May Surprise You (permalink)


Prof. Oddfellow humbly admits, "The universe is my thought."
> read more from This May Surprise You . . .


Forgotten Wisdom (permalink)
"Documents that treat of the darkest past could cast some light on the immediate future."
Leonora Carrington, The Stone Door


> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .


The Right Word (permalink)
As we noted last year, our 14th great-grandmother, Mary Sidney, Countess of Pembroke, has many distinctions, not the least of which is her likelihood of having written the Shakespeare plays and sonnets.  (For compelling evidence, see Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a Woman Write Shakespeare?)  Here's an anagram we made in her honor.


> read more from The Right Word . . .



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