My apoligies for such a long absence — I was having a little trouble getting links to post on the site from here (school), but I think that my schedule will calm down again in a week or two so I will have time to post new scholarship and writing contest information from home.

So, to make up for weeks of no quotes, here are a few:

” Without words, without writing and without books there would be no history; there could be no concept of humanity.” – Herman Hesse

“Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it. It enriches the necessary competencies that daily life requires and provides; and in this respect, it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.” – C.S. Lewis

“Books tap the wisdom of our species — the greatest minds, the best teachers — from all ver the world and from all our history. And they’re patient.” – Carl Sagan

Pop Culture Literary Reference of the Week


In the “All’s Fair in Oven War” episode of The Simpsons (which aired on channel 43 last week), enigmatic postmodern writer Thomas Pynchon made an animated appearance. If you happened to catch this and wonder why he had a paper bag over his head, it is because he is notorious for being incredibly reclusive and media-shy. The most recent photo of him available to the public is his 1953 high school picture, and he has refused to be interviewed by the media since the mid-1960’s.

Here’s a synopsis of the scene in which he appears:

Marge is a contestant in a baking contest (think Top Chef or Hell’s Kitchen). As judges are tasting the culinary creations, a man with a paper bag over his head comments “These wings are ‘V-licious’! I’ll put this recipe in the Gravity’s Rainbow cookbook, right next to ‘the frying of latke 49’.”

… and here’s why that’s funny (aside from the paper bag part, which if you’ve read this far you always know is funny):

Three of Thomas Pynchon’s most famous works are novels entitled V, Gravity’s Rainbow, and The Crying of Lot 49. Brilliant!
For the record, this was Pynchon’s second appearance on The Simpsons. If you’re interested in reading about his first, click here.

Quotes (and such) of the week

This week I’m posting a double dose of quotes, words, and book openers. Enjoy.

BOOK OPENER #1: “No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man’s and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water.”

War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (which, by the way, can be read for AR!)

BOOK OPENER #2:  “First Lieutenant Jimmy Cross carried letters from a girl named Martha, a junior at Mount Sebastian College in New Jersey.”

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien (also an AR book)

WORD #1: virulent

WORD #2: loquatious

QUOTE #1: “The question of literature, I suppose, is whether we ourselves live more intensely for the reading of it.” – Elizabeth Drew

QUOTE #2: (the following quote is from the 1980 documentary AC/DC: Let There Be Rock)

Interviewer:  Do you think there will be a third world war?

Angus Young: I am the third world war.

(…) of the Week

WORD: defenestration (found in a Calvin & Hobbes comic strip)

BOOK OPENER: “You will rejoice to hear that no disaster has accompanied the commencement of an enterprise which you have regarded with such evil forebodings.” – Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

GRAMMAR DISASTER: “Toilet broken. Please use floor below” – sign on a restroom door on the third floor of an office building, presumably meaning that anyone needing to use the facilities should go down a flight of stairs to do so.