Tag Archives: Books

1897: C.3.3.

When Oscar Wilde’s poem The Ballad of Reading Gaol was published in February, 1898, the author’s name appeared only as “C.3.3.,” which had been the number of Wilde’s tiny room in the prison: block C, landing 3, cell 3. It … Continue reading

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1357: Fruit

In passynge be the lond of CATHAYE toward the higℏ ynde & toward BACHARYE, men passen be a kyngdom þat men clepen CALDILHE, þat is a fuƚƚ fair contre. And þere growetℏ a maner of fruyt as þougℏ it weren … Continue reading

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2009: A Country Dentist

Participants were 40 Canadian-born psychology undergraduates (29 females and 11 males). They were randomly assigned to one of two experimental conditions. In the meaning-threat condition, participants read an absurd short story called ‘‘The Country Dentist.’’ The story is a modified … Continue reading

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6th Century: St. Brendan’s Isle

The 10th century Navigatio Sancti Brendani Abbatis relates the story of Saint Brendan the Abbot (c. AD 484 – c. 577), who takes a group of fourteen monks on an expedition in search of the island of Paradise. After a … Continue reading

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1753: Dedication

Tobias Smollett dedicated his third novel to himself: TO DOCTOR ——— You and I, my good friend, have often deliberated on the difficulty of writing such a dedication as might gratify the self-complacency of a patron, without exposing the author … Continue reading

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1868: Definition

From Wikipedia: Tsundoku (Japanese: 積ん読) is acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them. The term originated in the Meiji era (1868–1912) as Japanese slang. It combines elements of tsunde-oku (積んでお, to pile things … Continue reading

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1939: That Mighty Obstruction

Ernest Vincent Wright’s 1939 novel, Gadsby, was written without words that contain the letter “e.” Here is the opening: If youth, throughout all history, had had a champion to stand up for it; to show a doubting world that a … Continue reading

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