Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Mystery Monostich


~ ~  Elizabeth’s voice had a door in it.  ~ ~

That line -- that string of words, with a period at the end -- was scooped with a teaspoon from Richard Brautigan’s … novel? booklet?  anyhow a bunch of pages between covers,  A Confederate General from Big Sur, published in 1964.  I might quote a bit of context, in an attempt to make that fragment less strange; but the context is pretty strange in its own right, so I’d have to contexualize that;  and before you know it, I’d have quoted the whole book, which itself is still pretty strange, in its entirety.
I read the book in college, along with some others he wrote;  and before you know it, there he was, right at our college, giving a reading -- this was circa ’68.   He looked as though he had just stepped out of a dust-jacket photo of a frontier hippie;  he read in a soft voice.  He also looked (and kind of acted) strikingly like my freshman math teacher Robin Hartshorne.   Hartshorne was (and is) an elf;  and I have written about him here. -- Winsome;  the word is “winsome”.  -- Some of the things that Hartshorne told us, or wrote on the board, were even stranger than what Brautigan wrote:  for example, the Ham Sandwich Theorem.   And no, I’m not just trying to be funny and making stuff up;  there really is such a theorem and that is what it’s called:

Well, that’s about it for this paragraph.

Hartshorne and Brautigan -- separated at birth.


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