“The first time I read it, I was in school, and I remember being confounded by two facts: 1) That it was originally published in 1941 and 2) That it first appeared in Irish as An Béal Bocht. Andif there was one thing that was less funny than anything written before, say, 1975, it was anything that was written in Irish.”
Mr. Fogg assured us he would touch down at our place at precisely 8:45 in the evening. Imagine our delight when he not only arrived with all the punctuality befitting an Englishman, but also quite literally touched down! In a hot air balloon!
Avoid passive voice. When you write in the passive voice you sound like a landlord or a lawyer; you sound like you mean to avoid responsibility. Is that true? Do you eschew responsibility? Were you up until four a.m. writing on the walls of girls’ Facebook pages before you started this paper?
Andrea Lawlor, ”The Adjunct”
Say hello to Henri, the Existential Cat.
I once had a real-life encounter with a poet at four a.m. in a Las Vegas Denny’s. He leaned over the back of his booth, made some awkward introduction, and began reciting lines from a wrinkled paper about the haunting sound wind makes or some nonsense. This encounter gave me an acute poet-phobia that lasted for years.
Patrick Wensink, ”How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Poets”
Thanks also to my parents, their parents, their parents’ parents, their grandparents, and everyone in my family tree back to Adam, Eve, and the lower primates, especially Lucy. They may not ever get to read this book — and, if we go back far enough, may not even understand what a book is, or what to do with it — but clearly I would not be here without them, and so this book would not exist.
Lending a book to a friend always seems like a wonderful idea. You get to feel like a magnanimous literary Yenta and your friend enjoys the privilege of reading the free book that you carefully selected just for her.
But there is a dark side. I’m all too familiar with that moment when I accept a book I’d lent out and discover that it doesn’t look anything like it did when I last held it. Rips, spills, broken bindings; many are the mishaps that can befall a borrowed book. I understand that creases are a part of life, but when I lend you one of my books, I am trusting you to care for it as if it were your own.
The uncertainty ends today.
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