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Beware the Troll

Trolling is like playing chess – there is a point to the game, and that point is to win. Unlike chess, though, there are various ways of winning for the internet troll. These might include: gaining credence for false and invidious ideas driving bona fide list members, and/or particular groups, out of the mailing list dominating the list with messages/posts that they have generated gaining recognition or an award for…

Canterbury Tales: A Quick Link Roundup

Canterbury Tales: A Quick Link RoundupLiteracy Weblog) Online Google searches for Chaucer typically point to watered-down “study guides.” There is a real need for good online material on Chaucer, and there are good sites online that attempt to more than serve the lowest common denominator. A student backed out of an oral presentation topic late yesterday, so I’m trying to fill in the gap a little. When tackling a new…

The Library of Babel

Like all men of the Library, I have traveled in my youth; I have wandered in search of a book, perhaps the catalogue of catalogues; now that my eyes can hardly decipher what I write, I am preparing to die just a few leagues from the hexagon in which I was born. Once I am dead, there will be no lack of pious hands to throw me over the railing;…

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Uncle Orson's Writing Class

Donald sat in the corner of the room, barely illuminated by the dim moonlight filtering through the window. He was trembling badly; the events of the last few hours still storming through his mind. How the hell could he have known? How could he have known? He brought his shaking hands up to his face, and as he hid behind them the smell of fresh gunpowder brought the sickening moment…

The American Canon of the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure

A Selection from the Posthumously Published Ernest Hemingway Choose-Your-Own-Adventure, A Very Short Death, c.1959 It was late summer and you were alone in the cafĂ©. You were sipping vermouth and reading about the war. You liked the way the vermouth tasted good when you drank it with your mouth. The war was going badly. You tapped your tired fingers on the arm of the wooden chair where you were sitting…