"Paper and Salt attempts to recreate and reinterpret dishes that iconic authors discuss in their letters, diaries and fiction. Part food and recipe blog, part historical discussion, part literary fan girl..."
I don't think my mother wanted to believe it for years, being quite a great cook herself, but she has now embraced the fact that I only have a kitchen because it came with the house. (I hung the plaque she gave me confirming this in that very room.) Admittedly, and unlike Agatha Christie, I'm not all that into food. I am into creative writing, however, and I do enjoy reading about those who write it, so this blog fills me up. And such a clever name.
Some of the best entries (unless you're into the recipes):
June 30 -- Wallace Stevens: Coconut Caramel Graham Cookies
If cookies were a literary genre, I suspect they’d be the romance novel. Neither one gets much respect in highbrow circles, but both have a dedicated, verging-on-rabid following. They’re the perfect accompaniment to a rainy Sunday afternoon – and it’s dangerously easy to consume several in one sitting.
June 18 -- Ernest Hemingway: Bacon-Wrapped Trout with Corn Cakes
Broiling the fish not only keeps the bacon crispier than the Hemingway method, it also gives you the freedom to step away from the kitchen for a few minutes while it cooks. After all, a writer who couldn’t be tied down to one continent – or one woman – certainly shouldn’t be a slave to a sauté pan.
And a great comment on the About page:
For my creative writing thesis in 96, I wrote “The American Literature Cookbook.” Some recipes, if I can recall … -Walt Whitman, “Leaves Of Lemon Grass Chicken” -Ben Franklin, “Thanksgiving Eagle Surprise” -Cotton Mather, “Meatloaf In The Hands Of An Angry God” -Herman Melville, “Bartelby’s Burned Boston Butt”
So as for making dinner tonight, "I would prefer not to." Bartleby would understand.
"During previous Halloweens, we’ve seen enough 'Clockwork Orange' rip offs, and we’re pretty sure drawing a lightening bolt on your forehead with eyeliner doesn’t qualify as creative."
"This year, find a unique way of expressing your bookishness. Instead of a striped-stockinged, wart-wearing witch, try the 1692 version, like Elizabeth from 'The Crucible.'"
How about a Tralfamadorian from "Slaughterhouse-Five"?
"They're 'two feet high' and 'shaped like plumber's friends,' so this costume might have to be a little less literal. Wear all green, carry a plunger, and draw an eye on your palm, putting your hand above your head for pictures and impressions. Your response to everything should be "So it goes," but please avoid abductions and speaking condescendingly to fellow party-goers.
Or, from "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy":
"Try the literally two-faced Zaphod. He was the flamboyant, temporary President of the Galaxy, and voted 'Worst Dressed Sentient Being in the Known Universe,' so any combination of mismatched, bright-colored, out-of-date clothes will do. To depict his two heads, print out a picture of your face and tape it to the back of your noggin."
I told a senior today he should dress like Arthur Dimmesdale. I don't think he will, but at least he knew who I was talking about!
“What’s that, Lassie? Timmy fell down a well?” ... Well, no, Timmy never did fall down a well, although Lassie did once. Oh, the drama.
Here's some of what rascal Timmy DID do, however:
…let a rabid dog out of a cage (“Graduation”) …ate deadly nightshade berries (“Berry pickers”) …threatened by an escaped female circus elephant (“The Elephant”) …hid out in the tree house when he had pneumonia (“Spartan”) …ignored severe stomach pains; later diagnosed with appendicitis (“Hospital”) …wandered into a live mine field (“Junior GIs”) …menaced by a bear (“Campout” and “The Renegade”) …trapped in a mine (“Old Henry”) …got a black eye playing football (“Growing Pains”) …nearly flew a home-made glider off a cliff (“Flying Machine”) …ran into a burning house to save a neighbor lady and passed out (“The Whopper”) …endangered by dynamite picked up by an escaped lab chimp (“The Man from Mars”)
I'm not sure that last one is for real, but shows get desperate when they're nearing the end.
Students and teachers alike get desperate too when the grading period nears its end. I really could have used Lassie today to eat all of my students' homework that I had yet to grade.
The connection of all this to today's post is that my morning started with an uptick on my timeline as this blog hit 1000 views from over 600 unique IP addresses. That was just the beginning of today's drama, though it's all settling down now.
So thanks to my Scoopies for making today more than just another ordinary day in an ordinary town.
Architecture firm MVRDV designed this magnificent library called Book Mountain, literally a mountain of books covered by a glass shell.
Public library in Spijkenisse near Rotterdam, Netherlands.
The windows may not be all that good for the books, but maybe the country doesn't get a lot of sunlight?
And I don't see any ladders, but that could be because perhaps they wanted to shelve the banned and challenged books just out of reach. I'll remember that for the "Books and Beer" cafe venture my colleagues want to open in the arts district. We'll offer "top shelf" literature.
This is just a short list of most mentioned songs, movies, TV shows, etc. in literature. It gives just a snapshot of what appears over on Small Demons, a site filled with hours of trivia.
Go to the Featured section of Small Demons to discover how many times a song has been referenced and the excerpt where it appears. Then prepare to spend way too much time digging through other connections that lead to more breadcrumbs, etc.
To Scott and many others, Zelda was one of a kind. She was very nearly his literal Daisy, and his desire, jealousy, and obsession for her brought us several great novels. Quite the muse.
I'll soon be rereading "The Great Gatsby" for the n-th time, but I never tire of it. In fact, it gets better with age. Closest thing to poetry in prose I've ever encountered.
On another note, I've had thousands of students, but I've never had anyone named Zelda. You'd think such a popular gal would have inspired numerous others to name their offspring after her. I mean, come on, "Apple," really?
Even my name is more popular than hers. I've actually met two people named Enid, one of whom was a roommate's aunt. And there is that city out west...
"A midtown concierge has written an odorous ode to New York City’s distinct smells — and boy, does it stink! From pastrami sandwiches to pizza to the unwashed guy you don’t want to sit next to, it's not for the faint of stomach"
Scratch and sniff goes gross, but I'd say Harry Potter's Bertie Bott's Jelly Beans are even more disgusting.
What I find more shocking than the aroma choices is that she had trouble finding a publisher so had to do it herself. Seems like the more a work has shock value, either because of crassness or language, the better it sells. (e.g. "Go the Bleep to Sleep," "Fifty Shades...")
Curating eclectic interestingness from culture's collective brain...
Scott never was one to mince words:
"Who in hell ever respected Shelley, Whitman, Poe, O. Henry, Verlaine, Swinburne, Villon, Shakespeare ect when they were alive. Shelley + Swinburne were fired from college; Verlaine + O Henry were in jail. The rest were drunkards or wasters..."
And when he said this: "100% American (which means 99% village idiot)," he had no idea that nearly 100 years later, we'd be looking to him and his literature to help us, the village idiots, define the American Dream.
I scooped this from one of my favorite sites, Brain Pickings, which hosts the literary jukebox, always a unique paring of music and literature. Do check it out.)
Fitzgerald's editor confirms everything I have professed about the greatness of "The Great Gatsby," and he was just reading the drafts. I've always found it to be the most perfectly crafted and poetic story I've ever read, but his editor believed this as well:
"The amount of meaning you get into a sentence, the dimensions and intensity of the impression you make a paragraph carry, are most extraordinary. The manuscript is full of phrases which make a scene blaze with life."
"I think the novel is a wonder. I'm taking it home to read again and shall then write my impressions in full;—but it has vitality to an extraordinary degree, and glamour, and a great deal of underlying thought of unusual quality. It has a kind of mystic atmosphere at times that you infused into parts of "Paradise" and have not since used. It is a marvelous fusion, into a unity of presentation, of the extraordinary incongruities of life today. And as for sheer writing, it's astonishing."
"In the eyes of Dr. Eckleberg various readers will see different significances; but their presence gives a superb touch to the whole thing: great unblinking eyes, expressionless, looking down upon the human scene. It's magnificent!"
"You once told me you were not a natural writer—my God! You have plainly mastered the craft, of course; but you needed far more than craftsmanship for this."
So to those who choose to get summaries of this short book from friends or the internet instead of reading it themselves, I can only say that it would be like hearing about today's OT win by the Indianapolis Colts secondhand. It's a good story, but it won't ever be a part of yours.
"Johnny Depp will launch a publishing imprint with Harper, a division of HarperCollins, called Infinitum Nihil. That's the same as his production company, which has had a hand in the films "The Rum Diary" (adapted from the novel by Hunter S. Thompson"
In case anyone's wondering, the movie is nearly identical to the book (not too surprising since Chbosky wrote both).
Ironically, I was reading it in the back of the room during a presentation about banned books (which I had enjoyed twice already) when the one giving the talk mentioned it. I thought she was calling me out for reading it, but she assured me she had no idea.
Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin, Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood. Most children grow up reading (and watching the Disney versions) of these fairy tales.
"Now Tim Manley, a 27-year-old New York City high school teacher, has reimagined many of these classic stories ... in the voice of a 20-something, Millennial urbanite. The results, published on his Tumblr, 'Fairy Tales For 20-Somethings,' satirize the mindset of that demographic pretty brilliantly."
Peter Pan decided it was time to grow up, get serious, and work towards something substantial. so he started a blog of funny anecdotes from his life.
The ugly duckling always felt gross compared to everyone else. But then she got Instagram and there’s this one filter that makes her look awesome.
The crazy thing is that eventually even Alice began to doubt whether what she’d seen down the rabbit hole had ever really existed. And it didn’t make her sad, there was nothing overly dramatic about it, it was just that now she understood how the world actually worked. But then she was tagged in a photo by an old friend, by the White Rabbit. It was a faded picture of her and the Cheshire Cat, and, wow, it just brought her right back.
The ugly duckling read obscure works of literature in other languages and listened to indie music even the guys in the record store had never heard of. If i’m not going to be prettier than anyone, she thought, I'm at least going to be better than them.
It was time to go to bed but Cinderella kept reloading her Facebook page, hoping one more person would like the link she’d posted to her photography. Then another person did, her heart jumped, and she hit reload again. Just one more, she thought.
Rapunzel cut her hair short and gave the rest to Locks for Love and everyone on Facebook liked her new profile photo. It made her feel good for a minute but then she was like, "Wait, did nobody like my long hair and they just weren’t telling me?"
Roll down the stockings and powder up. We'll soon be crashing Gatsby's parties. The pool may even be reopened. (I still contend that Gatsby's pool boy has the worst job in literature.) Chlorine absolves even the worst of sins.
I won't be poolside, however, for I had more than enough of that idle time back in my younger and more vulnerable days when I was more apt to judgment as I played Cerberus to those foolish enough to dive into the shallow end of the gene pool. No, find me in that library with Owl Eyes, sucked in by the Charybdis of unread, uncut volumes, drowning in the drink of words.
And since invitations to read will be snubbed, just like poor, purple Myrtle who never made it to either Egg (she fell off the wall before it could ever be torn down), all I can do is tempt with the allure of the forbidden, the banned, the challenged. Crash this party and stay forever. Once you check this book out, you can never leave.
Handing out Gatsby this week. Let the good times roll.
I can vouch for most of these, having both read and seen them. Book-to-screen transfers can be so disappointing.
The only shaky one on the list is the “The Hunger Games” because of its awful use of the "Blair Witch" camera technique. I literally had to leave the theater because it made me nauseous. At least I don’t have to watch the next two to know how it all ends. Just one of the perks of being a reader.
I shared this on Diigo yesterday and it's already had 84 views. The timing on this couldn't have been better. This week I've been teaching seniors about copyright and making them use public domain images for projects (that still need to be attributed, BTW).
Today's takeaway lesson, especially for bloggers: Take your own salami picture.
Too bad the prize is only $2,000 because I'm going to win this in the next few days. I have enough papers in the system (90 X 8-10 pgs. each) that still need to be graded that I'm quite confident the prize will be mine.
Guess they don't offer more of an incentive because if they did, the one who wins (me) would stop using their service because she has RETIRED.