Tag Archives: Books

1963: A Colour Guide to Clouds

Each time you look at the sky, try to identify the clouds in it and test whether the explanations given in the book could be true for them. Gradually you will come to know the important clouds and the circumstances … Continue reading

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1964: Oh, My Mangled Head!

In his book Alice in Many Tongues (1964), Warren Weaver spends the last chapter using a curious method to evaluate various translations of Alice in Wonderland. He takes the same passage from each translation—a portion of the Mad Tea-Party—and asks … Continue reading

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1938: Fire

Teresita Fernández: Fire (2005) Fire and heat provide modes of explanation in the most varied domains, because they have been for us the occasion for unforgettable memories, for simple and decisive personal experiences. Fire is thus a privileged phenomenon which … Continue reading

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1901: Am I So Very Ugly?

Walter Crane: “Am I so very ugly?” —illustration for Beauty and the Beast (ca. 1901)

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1871: Wasp in a Wig

In 1870, illustrator John Tenniel wrote to Lewis Carroll suggesting that he delete an episode from Through the Looking-Glass: Don’t think me brutal, but I am bound to say that the ‘wasp’ chapter doesn’t interest me in the least, & … Continue reading

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1969: The Door Said

The door refused to open. It said, “Five cents, please.” He searched his pockets. No more coins; nothing. “I’ll pay you tomorrow,” he told the door. Again he tried the knob. Again it remained locked tight “What I pay you,” … Continue reading

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1991: Time’s Arrow

In Martin Amis’s 1991 novel, Time’s Arrow, time flows backwards. It’s not simply that the events are narrated in reverse order; rather, it’s as if the characters were in a film being show in reverse. Here’s how eating works, for … Continue reading

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