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, a “monk for the modern age” by George Parker, 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.

Found 21 posts tagged ‘nabokov’


May 3, 2016 (permalink)

This Ramsgate is a precursor to Nabokov's Ramsdale, from The Z.Z.G., or Zig Zag Guide Round and About the Bold and Beautiful Kentish Coast by Francis Cowley Burnand and illustated by Phil May, 1897.  The caption reads, "Youth and age a common sight at Ramsgate."
> read more from Precursors . . .
#vintage illustration #art #nabokov #ramsgate
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July 12, 2013 (permalink)

Q: "Why should I not think the best of those who are kind to me?" (The Quiver, 1881).

A: "The problem with kindness, for Nabokov, is that most visible or public forms of it are fake" (Will Norman & Duncan White, Transitional Nabokov, 2009).

> read more from Rhetorical Questions, Answered! . . .
#vintage illustration #art #kindness #nabokov
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August 24, 2011 (permalink)

A traveler realizes "that the wild country he surveys is not an accidental assembly of natural phenomena, but the page in a book where these mountains and forests, and fields, and rivers are disposed in such a way as to form a coherent sentence; the vowel of a lake fusing with the consonant of a sibilant slope; the windings of a road writing its message in a round hand, as clear as that of one's father; trees conversing in dumb-show, making sense to one who has learnt the gestures of their language . . . Thus the traveler spells the landscape and its sense is disclosed, and likewise, the intricate pattern of human life turns out to be monogrammatic, now quite clear to the inner eye disentangling the interwoven letters." —Vladimir Navokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .
#travel #nabokov
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August 18, 2011 (permalink)

"Don't be too certain of learning the past from the lips of the present.   Beware of the most honest broker.  Remember that what you are told is really threefold:  shaped by the teller, reshaped by the listener, concealed from both by the dead man of the tale." —Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight

"Memory has its own special kind.  It selects, eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimizes, glorifies, and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else's version more than his own."
Salman Rushdie
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .
#memory #nabokov #salman rushdie #the past
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July 14, 2011 (permalink)

"It is not the parts that matter, it is their combinations." —Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from Glued Snippets . . .
#nabokov #combinations
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June 27, 2011 (permalink)

Keep love letters and give them "night-lodgings, because it is safer to let such things sleep, lest, when killed, they haunt us as ghosts." —Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from Forgotten Wisdom . . .
#love letters #nabokov
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June 10, 2011 (permalink)

"It is far too easy to talk of a dead author behind the backs of his books."
Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#books #nabokov
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June 6, 2011 (permalink)

"The common pebble you find in your fist after having thrust your arm shoulder deep into water, where a jewel seemed to gleam on pale sand, is really the coveted gem though it looks like a pebble as it dries in the sun of everyday." —Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .
#gem #nabokov
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May 24, 2011 (permalink)

"I have learnt one secret . . . : that the soul is but a manner of being—not a constant state—that any soul may be yours, if you find and follow its undulations." —Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from Book of Whispers . . .
#soul #nabokov
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May 13, 2011 (permalink)

"No real idea can be said to exist without the words made to measure." —Vladimir Nabokov, The Real Life of Sebastian Knight
> read more from The Right Word . . .
#nabokov #words #idea
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April 28, 2011 (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 . . .
#nabokov #dew drop #water retention
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April 12, 2011 (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 . . .
#diagram #nabokov
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March 15, 2011 (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 . . .
#nabokov #old letters
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February 4, 2011 (permalink)


> read more from Colorful Allusions . . .
#clock face #mustache #nabokov
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January 10, 2011 (permalink)

From Prof. Oddfellow's sketchbook: "Wine's skeleton resembles both a corkscrew and a vine."  For more eccentricities, see our collection of "Forgotten Wisdom."

Relatedly, here's a Pompeian mosaic of a skeleton holding two wine jugs.
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 . . .
#skeleton #goblet #wine #nabokov
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December 15, 2010 (permalink)

"I witness with pleasure the supreme achievement of memory, which is the masterly use it makes of innate harmonies when gathering to its fold the suspended and wandering tonalities of the past." —Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#memory #nabokov
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November 26, 2010 (permalink)

"There is, it would seem, in the dimensional scale of the world a kind of delicate meeting place between imagination and knowledge, a point, arrived at by diminishing large things and enlarging small ones, that is intrinsically artistic."
Vladimir Nabokov, Speak, Memory
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#nabokov
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November 15, 2010 (permalink)

"How small the cosmos (a kangaroo's pouch would hold it), how paltry and puny in comparison to human consciousness, to a single individual recollection, and its expression in words!" (Vladimir Nabokov, Speak Memory, revised edition, 1967, p. 13).

> read more from The Right Word . . .
#kangaroo #cosmos #consciousness #nabokov
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November 12, 2010 (permalink)

Vladimir Nabokov answers the "Nature vs. Nurture" question:

Neither in environment nor in heredity can I find the exact instrument that fashioned me, the anonymous roller that pressed upon my life a certain intricate watermark whose unique design becomes visible when the lamp of art is made to shine through life's foolscap.  (Speak Memory, revised edition, 1967, p. 14).
> read more from I Found a Penny Today, So Here's a Thought . . .
#nabokov #nature vs. nurture
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November 7, 2010 (permalink)

Friedrich Nietzsche suggests:

We use up too much artistry in our dreams—and therefore often are impoverished during the day.  (The Wanderer and His Shadow, 1880)

However, Vladimir Nabokov notes:

Imagination, the supreme delight of the immortal and the immature, should be limited.  (Speak, Memory, revised edition, 1967)
If you have a strange dream to share, send it along!
> read more from Strange Dreams . . .
#nabokov #nietzsche
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