Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wordsworth, and other things that merit equal excitement

Today, Raevyn is reading Prelude, by Wordsworth. Essentially his autobiography, in the form of the biggest sodding poem you've ever seen. I know that you, my devoted fans, (all two of you) are insanely jealous of my good fortune right now.

And now, an educational supplement. A new feature, if you will. The word for the week, is -

Obstreperousness. adj - Noisy, boisterous, defiant, or resisting control in an unruly manner.

"Put that knife down, Jason. You're being horribly obstreperous."

"Those WWF Wrestlers are terrible obstreperous fellows, aren't they?"

"Hannibal, you really need to stop eating people. It is awfully obstreperous."

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Literary Awards

I consider it due time that I celebrated the most elavated, eloquent, wonderful, and plain damn unnecessary language that I have come across in my life so far. So I made up awards. Here are the victors thus far -

Most Overbearing Description of a Squirrel Ever Written Award -

'A squirrel, from the lofty depths of his domestic tree, chattered either in anger or merriment, - for a squirrel is such a choleric and humourous little personage that it is hard to distinguish between his moods, - so he chattered at the child, and flung down a nut upon her head. It was last year's nut, and already gnawed by his sharp tooth.' - The Scarlet Letter, chapter XIX, Nathaniel Hawthorne.

The Best Way of Saying - "I thought." Award

"I ruminated on the best possible means of ascertaining the truth of my conjunctures." - Matthew Lewis, The Monk.

The Most Romantic Thing to Say to Your New Wife Award -

"Thou sink of iniquity, thou fiery faced quintessence of all that is abominable!!" - Edgar Allan Poe, Loss of Breath.

The Paragon of Mental Stability award -
"True! Nervous - very very dreadfully nervous I had been and am: but WHY will you say that I am MAD?" - Edgar Allan Poe, The Telltale Heart.

The little Ray of Sunshine Award -

"A sense of insufferable gloom pervaded my spirit...I looked upon the scene before me - upon the bleak walls upon the vacant eye-like windows - upon a few rank sedges - and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees - with an utter depression of soul which I can compare to no earthly sensation more properly than to the after-dream of the reveller upon opium - the bitter lapse into everyday life - the hideous dropping off of the reveller upon opium - the bitter lapse into everyday life - the hideous dropping off of the veil. There was an iciness, a sinking, a sickening of the heart - an unredeemed dreariness of thought which no goading of the imagination could torture into aught of the sublime." - Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher.

The Best Way of Saying "He's a nice bloke" Award -

"I do not attempt to deny, that I think very highly of him - that I greatly esteem him, that I like him." - Eleanor, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen.

Best Way of Saying "Nice spuds." Award -

"What excellent potatoes. It's many years since I've had such an exemplary vegetable." - Mister Collins, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen (okay, it was the film version, but I still get points for suffering through it)

Best Way of Saying "Can I have a look?" Award -

"Permit me to ascertain whether there are any breaks?" - Willoughby, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Austen. (okay, it was the film version again...but I read parts of the book!)

And finally, The Biggest Fuckoff Sentence Ever Written and Published Known to Mankind (and no I'm not making it up) -

"I saw Jew pedlars, with hawk eyes flashing from countenances whose every other feature wore only an expression of abject humility; sturdy professional street beggars scowling upon mendicants of a better stamp, whom despair alone had driven forth into the night for charity; feeble and ghastly invalids, upon whom death had placed a sure hand, and who sidled and tottered through the mob, looking every one beseechingly in the face, as if in search of some chance consolation, some lost hope; modest young girls returning from long and late labor to a cheerless home, and shrinking more tearfully than indignantly from the glances of ruffians, whose direct contact, even, could not be avoided; women of the town of all kinds and of all ages - the unequivocal beauty in the prime of her womanhood, putting one in mind of the statue in Lucian, with the surface of Parian marble, and the interior filled with filth - the loathsome and utterly lost leper in rags - the wrinkled, bejewelled and paint-begrimed beldame, making a last effort at youth - the mere child of immature form, yet, from long association, an adept in the dreadful coquetries of her trade, and burning with a rabid ambition to be ranked the equal of her elders in vice; drunkards innumerable and indescribable - some in shreds and patches, reeling, inarticulate, with bruised visage and lack-lustre eyes - some in whole although filthy garments, with a slightly unsteady swagger, thick sensual lips, and hearty-looking rubicund faces - others clothed in materials which had once been good, and which even now were scrupulously well brushed - men who walked with a more than naturally firm and springy step, but whose countenances were fearfully pale, whose eyes hideously wild and red, and who clutched with quivering fingers, as they strode through the crowd, at every object which came within their reach; beside these, pie-men, porters, coal- heavers, sweeps; organ-grinders, monkey-exhibiters and ballad mongers, those who vended with those who sang; ragged artizans and exhausted laborers of every description, and all full of a noisy and inordinate vivacity which jarred discordantly upon the ear, and gave an aching sensation to the eye." - Edgar Allan Poe, The Man of the Crowd

I tried reading that out loud once, I passed out.