Re: Fishing Hurts

1

Is... is joke, right?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 4:51 PM
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1: It was sent to me as a "look at this joke" sort of thing. But I was wondering how long I would have read thinking it was serious if I hadn't been told ahead of time that it's a joke. Probably for several posts. I'm gullible.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 4:54 PM
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Then again, the author seems to want to be taken very seriously. Look at the labels on the top-most post!


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 5:09 PM
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Oh come on. It's TOTALLY a joke.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 5:12 PM
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But it says "genuine"! You're saying the tags are lying?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 5:15 PM
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Next up: bitchphd tells us the whole "bitch" thing is just shtick.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 5:27 PM
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You know what's better? Emo Oil. 100 percent not a joke, and not nearly widely known enough. Back home the other week, I even got to stop at one of their petrol stations.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 5:29 PM
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If it's a joke (and reading through all his posts makes me uncertain whether it is or not), it's not particularly well done (unless you're counting the fact that it's hard to tell if it's a joke as an indication that it's well done).


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 5:32 PM
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Let's push this one to 1000!


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 5:33 PM
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it's not particularly well done

But the image! THE IMAGE! Meh.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 5:38 PM
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Apparently Izod alligator shirts, which were de rigueur among the preppy set when I was in high school in New England, are considered emo now, at least according to people who sell them on eBay. Is this a common fashion opinion among members of Generation Awesome?


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 5:42 PM
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11: First I've heard of it.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:02 PM
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Do people still wear Izod alligator shirts? Is it some kind of retro thing? I mean, those things were bad then and surely continue to be bad now.

Actually, I take it back; I can easily see certain 40-something members of the preppy set continuing to wear them. Along with their docksiders, sockless.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:39 PM
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You wound me, parsi. I still have one. I've never had docksiders, though.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:42 PM
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Jesus, as long as you don't wear the collar up, we're cool.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:49 PM
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I wouldn't risk going this directly off topic in a serious post. But the Palin post here is a bit past, and I think it's worth the censure (you've banned far better people) to point you to this excellent post by M.LeBlanc on Palin at B.PhD.

http://bitchphd.blogspot.com/2008/08/in-which-weekly-standard-has-point.html

I commented:

This is the first sensible blog post I've seen regarding Palin. I actually think you held back because you're the first to voice this stuff.

We keep talking about her inadequacies, but in fact she'd make a much better President than McCain himself. She gets smarter every day, and remembers what she's seen and done, while McCain is lost and disoriented and trapped by his limiting past. Palin's ignorance about the world (uninformed, not stupid) is far superior to McCain's false knowledge about everything.

Republicans don't care about any of the things that we care about. We believe it's important for people in charge of "stuff" to know how "stuff" actually works. We wouldn't accept a doctor who merely played one on TV, but Republicans are delighted with politicians who have merely played them in movies. To Republicans, the amiable Joe in a bar with an interesting story is the ideal President, and Palin very attractively embodies that frame in spades.

Palin, in her ideology, is far more acceptable to the Republican base than the pseudo-maverick McCain.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, but there are layers here we need to understand. I'm delighted you wrote this perceptive post. I hope it's widely read.


Posted by: ehj2 | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:49 PM
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ehj2 is banned.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:50 PM
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Sweet Christ in heaven, ehj2, why did you ruin a perfectly good non-Palin thread? I heartily concur with parsimon in 17.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:54 PM
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I agree also. Bann ehj2 and delete his sucky posts. But go read the damn thing at B.Phd.


Posted by: ehj2 | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:56 PM
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Yeah, really, and after I just revived ""Don't mourn, organize""'s Palin-thread status.


Posted by: peter | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:56 PM
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Along with their docksiders, sockless.

Phew, I don't wear Izod shirts.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 6:57 PM
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20, well, that one seemed to have a clear and well-defined topic. this thread was just kind of sitting here unused.


Posted by: ehj2 | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:02 PM
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The post motivated me to look up the totally great obituary written by a friend for an elite fly fisherman we knew in school. Thanks, Stanley.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:04 PM
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22: you really will have to be banned if you're going to insist on threads having "clear and well defined topics". I can't wait for the election madness to die down so we can return to bobbing along in the stream of consciousness.

I followed the link, and it made me realize that I really am emo. But I grew up without a word for it, unable to name my darkness.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:09 PM
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You know who else is emo? Raymond Chandler.

"You're a piker, Marlowe. You're a peanut grifter. You're so little, it takes a magnifying glass to see you"

I didn't say anything at all.

"You got cheap emotions. You're cheap all over. You pal around with a guy, eat a few drinks, talk a few gags, slip him a little dough when he's strapped, and you're sold out to him. Just like some school kid that read Frank Merriwell. You got no brains, no guts, no connections, no savvy, so you throw out a phony attitude and expect people to cry over you. Tarzan on a big red scooter". He smiled a small weary smile. "In my book, you're a nickels worth of nothing".


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:15 PM
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If it's a joke (and reading through all his posts makes me uncertain whether it is or not), it's not particularly well done (unless you're counting the fact that it's hard to tell if it's a joke as an indication that it's well done).

Um.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:18 PM
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My copy of Brautigan's Trout Fishing in America (can't find it) had a jaket blurb from a review in a fishing magazine. They played it pretty straight, something like "This book won't help you catch more fish, but it is about fishing."


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:19 PM
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26 is incisive, witty, thought-provoking, contentless, and incomprehensible!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:26 PM
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21: Phew, I don't wear Izod shirts.

We are quite forgiving here about footwear.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:31 PM
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I have an Izod thong, but I only wear it for frat events.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:32 PM
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28: Oh, sorry. I forgot that I need to spell everything out.

The comment I was "um"ing was stupid and self-contradictory.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:33 PM
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31: stupid is a matter of opinion, I suppose, but it isn't self-contradictory.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:34 PM
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Fine, whatever. Sorry to have bothered you, Tweety.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:41 PM
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I am unbothered.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:42 PM
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You don't seem unbewildered.


Posted by: Ardent reader | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:45 PM
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Am I bovvered?


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:47 PM
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(i.e. bothered - the "v" in the word takes the place of the "th" that should be there; see th-fronting)

Wikipedia is genius.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:53 PM
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If it's a joke (and reading through all his posts makes me uncertain whether it is or not), it's not particularly well done (unless you're counting the fact that it's hard to tell if it's a joke as an indication that it's well done).

I will come to B's defense! The fact that it's hard to tell if it's a joke counts as it's being well done if you consider that a certain type of joke -- a strange and difficult one, admittedly -- precisely trades on the audience's long pause, consideration, disbelief, long pause again, and so on. Sometimes we call this trolling.

So, well, I'm not sure what the conclusion is, other than that M/tch's original comment seems to be dismissive of the sort of joke that trades on this mechanism. Which, I don't know why. It's certainly not self-contradictory.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 7:59 PM
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39

No feelings at all was exactly right. I was as hollow and empty as the spaces between the stars. When I got home, I mixed a stiff one and stood by the open window in the living room and sipped it and listened to the groundswell of the traffic on Laurel Canyon Boulevard and looked at the glare of the big angry city hanging over the shoulder of the hills through which the boulevard had been cut. Far off the banshee wail of police or fire sirens rose and fell, never for very long completely silent. Twenty-four hours a day somebody is running, somebody else is trying to catch him. Out there in the night of a thousand crimes people were dying, being maimed, cut by flying glass, crushed against steering wheels or under heavy tires. People were being beaten, robbed, strangled, raped, and murdered. People were hungry, sick, bored, desparate with loneliness or remorse or fear, angry, cruel, feverish, shaken by sobs. A city no worse than others, a city rich and vigorous and full of pride, a city lost and beaten and full of emptiness.

It all depends on where you sit and what your own private score is. I didn't have one. I didn't care.

I finished the drink and went to bed.


Posted by: Philip Marlowe | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:00 PM
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So the funniest jokes, then, are those that are indistinguishable from earnestness. The most successful jokes of all, nobody ever laughs at, ever. I'm with you!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:01 PM
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I'm with you!

You might need to explain it to me, then.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:06 PM
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So the funniest jokes, then, are those that are indistinguishable from earnestness.

right. These are the cosmic jokes. Like life and stuff.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:07 PM
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My most successful joke ever was in high school doing a presentation that was complete, 100% bullshit from start to finish. I got an A+ on it, and no one laughed (audibly) during the presentation. They did, however, laugh afterwards.


Posted by: pdf23ds | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:07 PM
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41: no. You might laugh.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:10 PM
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Is this the Chandler quoting thread now?

I sat down at the desk and watched the light fade. The going-home sounds had died away. Outside the neon signs began to glare at one another across the boulevard. There was something to be done, but I didn't know what. Whatever it was it would be useless. I tidied up my desk, listening to the scrape of a bucket on the tiling of the corridor. I put my papers away in the drawer, straightened the pen stand, got out a duster and wiped off the glass and then the telephone. It was dark and sleek in the fading light. It wouldn't ring tonight. Nobody would ever call me again. Not now, not this time. Perhaps not ever.
I put the duster away folded with the dust in it, leaned back and just sat, not smoking, not even thinking. I was a blank man. I had no face, no meaning, no personality, hardly a name. I didn't want to eat. I didn't even want a drink. I was the page from yesterday's calendar crumpled at the bottom of the waste basket.

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:12 PM
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40: You kid, but, in all earnestness, I have a certain sympathy for that position.


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:12 PM
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46: hah.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:15 PM
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48

The fact that it's hard to tell if it's a joke counts as it's being well done if you consider that a certain type of joke -- a strange and difficult one, admittedly -- precisely trades on the audience's long pause, consideration, disbelief, long pause again, and so on. Sometimes we call this trolling.

If the joke depended on the audience's response, it would be trolling, and some damn fine trolling, too. This might be better categorized as performance art.

That is, if you ignore the fly fishing references!

max
['Fishy fishy oooo.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:16 PM
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Is this the Chandler quoting thread now?


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:18 PM
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49: please, that shit is foul.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:20 PM
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50: Some of it's really quite funny. But I'm banned.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:21 PM
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No, it doesn't need to be explained. It's (just?) the depths of irony. Can you say SWPL? No! Don't!

I do think it actually is difficult stuff. Self-mockery is the freakin' postmodern condition and all that (earnest) stuff. The Chandler quotations are a nice reminder that noir ain't exactly new.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:22 PM
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I was sitting in my office on that drizzly afternoon listening to the monotonous staccato of rain on my desktop and reading my name on the glass of my office door. Regnad Kcin. My secretary lay snoring on the floor (snores) her long, beautiful gams pinioned under the couch. I didn't hear him enter, (creaky door/walking) but my nostrils flared at the smell of his perfume... Pyramid Patchouli. There was only one joker in L.A. sensitive enough to wear that scent and I had to find out who he was.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:24 PM
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Some of it's really quite funny.

I didn't laugh at a single line, but now I don't know whether that means it's bad or good.

The Chandler quotations are a nice reminder that noir ain't exactly new.

Chandler is easy to spoof but it seems like he took himself quite seriously. The Marlowe character is portrayed as genuinely emotionally crippled.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:29 PM
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The Marlowe character is portrayed as genuinely emotionally crippled.

True. Y'know, the James Bond character in early Ian Fleming novels is also portrayed as pretty messed up. It's been a while since I read one or two of them, and having seen the movies, one can 'hear' the film version in the background, but really, the cant is entirely different.

I'm thinking chiefly of Casino Royale, I think. The female protagonist, or antagonist, is a source of pain in various ways, both physical and emotional, not portrayed as a conquest at all.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 8:52 PM
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I've forgotten which Bond novel it was, maybe You Only Live Twice, a later one, but one of them starts with an absolutely horrific invocation of the tedium of the alcoholic. It's almost uncomfortably autobiographical; Fleming drank like a fish but didn't admit until near the end of his life that it might have been a problem.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:03 PM
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Y'know, the James Bond character in early Ian Fleming novels is also portrayed as pretty messed up.

Not so much "pretty messed up" as "brooding sadist". I recommend the jaw-dropping Live and Let Die and Dr. No to also pull in the "oh no he didn't" racist factor.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:09 PM
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Also The Spy Who Loved Me, to get Ian Fleming's take on how a modish young thing who's a little bit fast and likes the rock and roll music thinks.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:09 PM
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Not so much "pretty messed up" as "brooding sadist".

Clarification noted, then!

Yeah, I don't remember now which I've read, but they were actually much more interesting than the films.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:15 PM
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The comment I was "um"ing was stupid and self-contradictory.

Um, bitch, dear one? Care to explain how it is you're so danged ALLCAPS!!!1!- sure of your opinion? And how my disagreement counts as "stupid"?


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:16 PM
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You'll still see guys affecting the James Bond manner all the time, though. Possibly unconsciously by now, not knowing where it came from.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:17 PM
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Is there any topic Snarkout can't make a perceptive comment on? How do you have time to learn all this stuff?

The Philip Marlowe character is painfully moralistic. He's too proud and self-pitying for any human connection. All he has is his code. He's like the stylized anguished figure on the cover of one of those 50s paperbacks about existentialism.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:17 PM
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This thread has me trying to remember the title and/or author of a relatively recent (~last 20 years?) Spanish-language novel that was basically an homage to the hard-boiled detective genre, but I'm drawing a blank. Dammit.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:19 PM
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If I'm not mistaken, I think snarkout's commenting erudition is a bit thin on the ground in the areas of monotremes and coagulaents.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:19 PM
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Is there any topic Snarkout can't make a perceptive comment on? How do you have time to learn all this stuff?

In this case, it was because my grandfather had a complete collection of the dime novels (at least in my recollection), and I read them all while visiting him one summer. There was sexin' and killin'!


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:20 PM
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snarkout also doesn't no shit about coagulents, is the word on the street.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:20 PM
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In this case, it was because my grandfather had a complete collection of the dime novels (at least in my recollection), and I read them all while visiting him one summer. There was sexin' and killin'! And the books were good too!


Posted by: Satan Mayo | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:21 PM
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Mickey Spillane was also very black and white, with a sexy, sadistic streak. He later became a JW.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:22 PM
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When I study foreign languages I try to find translations of noir fiction, because you pretty much know what will happen. I even read a Spillane book in Norwegian when I wasn't studying Norwegian. Probably 50% comprehension.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:24 PM
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Aha! It's Triste, solitario y final by Osvaldo Soriano. Thanks, bookshelf!


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:25 PM
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snarkout is also rumored to frequently misuse homonyms.


Posted by: M/tch M/lls | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:28 PM
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Monotremes: Robert Knox, the famed Scottish anatomist (the man who hired Burke and Hare to acquire bodies for him), dismissed the first taxidermy specimen of the platypus as a Chinese hoax. Also, platypi have poisonous spurs.

I am, however, drawing a complete blank on coagulents. M/tch's sources in 66 are absolutely correct.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:32 PM
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And the books were good too!

It's an interesting question (well, to me, at least, because I like to rank things), how good a writer Raymond Chandler is. He's definitely not a really bad writer in the way some genre writers are, and he's had huge influence. But you'd hardly call him a "great novelist", "in the canon". He belongs to this group of intensely stylized writers (Conan Doyle is another) who enormously affect the collective imagination but seem to doing something slightly different than "literature".

Chandler is one of the best stylists of all those genre guys, though. I love how grandiose and cinematic he is. He really cares about the words.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:32 PM
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Monotremes have wacky multi-headed penises, too. Well, the males do.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:38 PM
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Reading Chandler almost made me change my pseud here to Big Willie Magoon. Nobody would fuck with me then.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:40 PM
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Chandler was a well-educated man, and I think it hurt him; he was the person who I think best saw the iconic possibilities of the hard-boiled novel, and he could never unsee them. Everything was written about Philip Marlowe, American myth. The world-weariness gets old after a while and I think the prose is on the wrong side of overwritten, although I still find the end of The High Window absolutely crushingly beautiful and sad.

Hammett didn't have the same chops as a writer, but I think his style (and Woolrich's, although I don't like his books as much) aged much better Hammett's a sad story; if I didn't have anything else to dislike Lillian Hellman for, I'd dislike her for directing Hammett away from writing. Although who knows, that may have been more alcoholism and ill health.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:40 PM
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Chandler was a great user of polysyndeton; he really recognized how affecting it can be and made recourse to it ruthlessly. I'm a sucker for it.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:46 PM
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Chandler was a well-educated man, and I think it hurt him; he was the person who I think best saw the iconic possibilities of the hard-boiled novel, and he could never unsee them.

very well put. Chandler is best in smaller chunks, like the quotes here, his books can be hard to finish, too one-note. But even while the over-writing and sterotyping eventually becomes indigestible, it helped sear the noir style into the collective unconscious. (Although I have to say I may not be familiar enough with other noir writers to say how much was him vs. others, I'm no snarkout).

You know a genre writer who doesn't get the props he deserves today? Eric Ambler. Sly characterization, understated, Hitchcock-esque.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:50 PM
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77: Ah. Yes, I appear to be a sucker for it as well. Thanks!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:53 PM
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I've read only A Coffin for Dmitrios, but I believe Rfts is more versed in Amblerania. The evolution of the spy novel is a very weird thing.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:54 PM
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Chandler was a great user of polysyndeton; he really recognized how affecting it can be and made recourse to it ruthlessly.

Used to wonderful effect in the last sentence of the first paragraph of comment 39. Honestly, I think that's a great sentence.

But I'm a sucker for stuff too.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 9:54 PM
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I haven't read too much detective stuff, but I've read most of Chandler's and Hammett's novels and some Conan Doyle. I'd never even ask if the latter two were great writers stylistically. I like Hammett, but the Maltese Falcon not so much, but am pretty indifferent towards Doyle.

Chandler has some initial ambition to be a great literary writer, but for whatever reason that didn't work out - or look like it was going to work out - and he got into detective fiction because he felt more comfortable pushing the boundaries of a genre from within the genre. Less pressure when few people are expecting it to be great, I suppose.

What of letter of his I've read are fairly interesting. I think the constraints of having Philip Marlowe be a character who can only do certain things certain ways got to him at times.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 10:51 PM
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No, it doesn't need to be explained. It's (just?) the depths of irony.

It's the anti-personnel mines of irony. No, really, they have one of those in South Africa.

Can you say SWPL? No! Don't!

Empple!

max
['I walked in to find her sobbing into her standmixer, her arms with covered with tiny cuts. It was the cookie cutter again.']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 10:53 PM
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having Philip Marlowe be a character who can only do certain things certain ways got to him at times

I think he should've given Marlowe a jetpack.


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 10:54 PM
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Actually, I just looked at the letter I was thinking of - coincidentally, I've just started reading the collection I have - and it might have been more accurate to say that he felt constrained by his own reputation, not Marlowe's.

Letter to Blanche Knopf, 15 March 1942, referring to The High Window

I'm afraid the book is not going to be any good to you. No action, no likable characters, no nothing. The detective does nothing. I understand that it is being typed, which seems like a waste of money, and will be submitted to you, and I'm not sure that that is a good idea, but it is out of my hands....
The thing that rather gets me down is that when I write something that is tough and fast and full of mayhem and murder, I get panned for being tough and fast and full of mayhem and murder, and then when I try to tone down a bit and develop the mental and emotional side of a situation, I get panned for leaving out what I was panned for putting in the first time. The reader expects thus and thus of Chandler because he did it before, but when he did it before he was informed that it might have been much better if he hadn't.
However all this is rather vain now. From now on, if I make mistakes, as no doubt I shall, they will not be made in a futile attempt to avoid making mistakes.

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 1-08 11:04 PM
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I agree also. Bann ehj2 and delete his sucky posts.

First we'll need to find a spouse.

Reviewing the thread, I am convinced that Sifu doesn't have a sense of humor.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:01 AM
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40 in particular is the sinning comment.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:05 AM
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(What is described therein is basically perfected irony.)


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:06 AM
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You'll still see guys affecting the James Bond manner all the time, though. Possibly unconsciously by now, not knowing where it came from.

I can do the accent. Although if I tried this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ynoiBF7OjkI

it'd end in severe injury, I suspect.

You know a genre writer who doesn't get the props he deserves today? Eric Ambler. Sly characterization, understated, Hitchcock-esque.

Yeah, I've only read a little bit of Ambler, but it's great. I reread 'The Mask of Dimitrios' just recently, actually. The style is surprisingly modern for a 1930s novel.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:14 AM
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Chandler was a great user of polysyndeton; he really recognized how affecting it can be and made recourse to it ruthlessly.

"....where's Ruth?...."


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 2:17 AM
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I am, however, drawing a complete blank on coagulants.

QuikClot, son. Learn about it, it'll change your life. One of the most important things to happen in medicine or indeed anywhere in the last ten years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/QuikClot


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 3:34 AM
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Two Eskimos sitting in their kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire on board. Not surprisingly, the kayak itself caught fire and sank. Moral of the story: You can't have your kayak and heat it too.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 4:33 AM
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87: so you didn't laugh at 87?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 5:16 AM
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So Palin is a right-wing earnest joke, written in Chandler's "fading light" with 007's sexist cynicism and we're supposed to laugh? Or not-laugh?

Or is Palin right-wing trolling? See Parsimon at comment 38, "The fact that it's hard to tell if it's a joke counts as it's being well done if you consider that a certain type of joke -- a strange and difficult one, admittedly -- precisely trades on the audience's long pause, consideration, disbelief, long pause again, and so on. Sometimes we call this trolling."

Being new to this kind of humor I need guidance.

I won't even bring up the weirdly relevant observation about the next two months being a national interview and the ubiquitous flim-flam hackery of the process.


Posted by: ehj2 | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 5:56 AM
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This is a PALIN-FREE thread, ehh2!

Somebody is clearly not taking the ban warnings seriously.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 7:51 AM
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Right. And the tradition around here is to take the banning itself unseriously, rather than the ban warnings. Come to think of it, we haven't been banning people much lately. Back when Ogged was around, I got banned about once a month.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 8:00 AM
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He's cleverly found a way to link Palin to every ongoing theme in the thread, so points for that, but I don't think that outweighs politics fatigue.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 8:07 AM
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And remember if you are banned here you will also be banned on standpipe's blog. Why when ogged banned B back in days he banned her on half the internets including her own blog.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 8:09 AM
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The real tragedy is that Michael Palin was not born in Bristol.


Posted by: Tiny Hermaphrodite | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 8:12 AM
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LB is banned!


Posted by: The Proggedigal Son | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 8:15 AM
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Kobe is pissed!


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 8:41 AM
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This groundswell of opposition to Pain jokes is starting to piss me off. I'm highly reluctant to renounce the most fruitful source of joke concepts since the demise of the Tonya Harding Gang.

People who stand between me and sources of snark often end up regretting it. Believe me, my friendship with MC is being sorely tried.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 8:47 AM
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"Palin". Fuck.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 8:47 AM
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103: "Emerson". Ban.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 8:51 AM
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But you'd hardly call [Chandler] a "great novelist"

Only because of his lack of ambition to be a "great" novelist. But his work, especially The Long Goodbye, is easily as "great" as the work of his peers: Algren, Anderson, Buck, Caldwell, Cozzens, Farrell, Fast, Marquand, Rawlings, Wister, etc. Better, probably. How many people read the other authors on this list?

Do people still wear Izod alligator shirts?

Correctly called Lacoste alligator shirts these days, since the French company reclaimed their trademark from Izod in the mid-'90s. Also, nearly everything is considered "emo" now, at least according to people who sell stuff on eBay.


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 9:52 AM
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Ross Macdonald and Patricia Highsmith both wrote great crime novels. Chandler's a better writer than he is a novelist. How are his letters to read?


Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 10:01 AM
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The Long Goodbye is easily the Great American Novel, or at least the 20th century's version of it. That novel is just fucking fantastic and captures a lot of the American experience in one broad stroke. It's like if Fear of Falling were written as detective fiction. I read all of Chandler's work in one enormous binge a couple of years ago and have been trying to recreate that first sensational high ever since with no real success. This November I'm going to write a NaNo about a gay insurance salesman in the 1930's and plan to try to recreate some of that noir feel but damn, it's so hard to be that smart all the time. That's what I find so compelling about it, actually: for all that the emotions are tremendously overwrought, everyone's so clever.

Chandler himself did see his task as trying to craft literature from within the confines of a non-"literary" genre but I also think he would gladly give pretty much anyone the finger for thinking pretty much anything about his work. If I remember correctly, when Fleming interviewed him for the BBC they spent quite a while talking about how both their characters are knights in that they have specific codes from which they can't allow themselves to be swayed by personal loyalties or their own emotions and that's essentially what makes life so difficult for them and drives a lot of the individual stories. That's certainly true for Marlowe, who repeatedly reflects that he could just close a given case, collect a check or not and go home and not be blamed by anybody but instead he has to satisfy his own desire to see a disordered world explained.

Casino Royale is a fascinating book. Much of the story revolves around Bond deciding that the game of tit-for-tat played by world powers is just bullshit and then having that budding humanity utterly ground down into complete nihilism by a series of brutally traumatic experiences. It's an ugly case study in how abuse erodes empathy that isn't pretty or happy but is very difficult to put down. I haven't read the others yet, or at least not in so long that I can remember any of them, and plan to do so this winter.


Posted by: Robust McManlyPants | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 11:37 AM
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Cool. I'll put The Long Goodbye on my list. Or at least place a mental check-mark next to it; I suspect my bookpartner has a copy around.

Your NaNo project sounds great, Robust.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:16 PM
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it's so hard to be that smart all the time.

I feel your pain, brother.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:18 PM
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It's because you never did learn how to dance, young ben.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:29 PM
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Chandler was a great user of polysyndeton; he really recognized how affecting it can be and made recourse to it ruthlessly. I'm a sucker for it.

polysyndeton = "multiple-headed penis"?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:34 PM
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George Washington had one goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick, and another goddam dick.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:37 PM
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||
I'd just like to state for the record that I am thanking the gods (in descending order of plausibility) that the Olympics/MLB/Tour de France black hole of boring-apo-to-tearsness is finally closing and the new NFL season is beginning. Frankly, I'm sick of paying attention to my children on Sundays.
|>


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:43 PM
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Why Hemingway shot himself: terminal polysyndeton.

I said, "Who killed him?" and he said, "I don't know who killed him but he's dead all right," and it was dark and there was water standing in the street and no lights and windows broke and boats all up in the town and trees blown down and everything all blown and I got a skiff and went out and found my boat where I had her inside Mango Key and she was all right only she was full of water.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:50 PM
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Does polysyndeton make women hot, or does hotness lead to polysyndeton?

I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:55 PM
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That is actually a most salacious mixture of poly- and asyndeton, Jesus. Combined in the right proportions, the effects are, well, as you see.

The wrong proportions, however, lead inexorably to disaster.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 12:58 PM
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116.1: Isn't it, though! It made me feel frisky too.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 1:00 PM
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I bought a few old Ed Noon novels solely for the cover blurb which enjoins the reader to follow the adventures of Ed Noon, "the super swinging private dick."


Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 1:01 PM
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Of the set of writers who have written porn novels*, is Highsmith the one with the greatest literary reputation? She was a great, icy writer.

Chester Himes's stuff is stylistically interesting and a fascinating historical artifact, but I confess that none of the Coffin and Gravedigger books ever compelled me enough to re-read them.

* Phrasing chosen to exclude W. H. Auden.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 1:12 PM
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What's Highsmith's pornographic output?

I need to know for a school project.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 1:18 PM
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As it's all lesbian porn, w-lfs-n, I doubt it holds any real interest for you, scholarly or otherwise.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 1:26 PM
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I just finished reading "The Long Goodbye" -- the two Chandler quotes I put in this thread are from it, some of the writing was just so exhilirating for the first time I couldn't resist it.

There's a lot of magnificent writing in this book. But in the end, I thought less of it than some of the commenters above seem to. Marlowe seemed to have this unexamined self-pity and sentimentality which was narrowing and harmful to the way other characters were observed (since he narrates them). It felt like the book went on too long -- it's eventually kind of oppressive to be trapped in Marlowe's perspective -- and the non-Marlowe characters were so uniformly and unrealistically bleak. They lacked depth and most didn't come alive to me.

The key to appreciating the book for me was that it was about the nature of heroism (and the impossibility of being one).


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 1:30 PM
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121: You overlook the fact that W-lfs-n is a feminist.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 1:31 PM
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Does polysyndeton make women hot, or does hotness lead to polysyndeton?

It replicates the breathless, heedless rush of passion.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 1:32 PM
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It replicates the breathless, heedless rush of passion.

PGD is Allan Bloom? Isn't he dead?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 1:55 PM
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Farewell, My Lovely is actually Chandler's best novel.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 2:00 PM
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Y'know, the James Bond character in early Ian Fleming novels is also portrayed as pretty messed up.

Obligatory link (I could swear I've linked to that here).

There's no mystery where the Bond books get their air of dyspepsia, ennui and fatigue. Fleming lived as hard as his hero, one of whose central preoccupations is a determination 'not to waste my days in trying to prolong them'. There is always something depressing about the story of a lifestyle casualty, someone whose boozing and smoking bring about the actuarially predictable consequences. Fleming, who died at 56, was one of those. Andrew Lycett's first-rate biography, published in 1995, almost doesn't need its text, since the photos tell a perfectly clear story of how the (I hadn't realised) strikingly beautiful young Fleming turned into a prematurely knackered roué with an air of not-at-all-suppressed boredom and a cigarette holder.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 2:16 PM
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As it's all lesbian porn, w-lfs-n, I doubt it holds any real interest for you, scholarly or otherwise

Why don't you satisfy my curiosity anyway?


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 09- 2-08 2:39 PM
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