Saturday, August 29, 2009
In finding links for all these watery terms I had most trouble with "freshets," "rhabdomantic," "bights," and, weirdly enough, "dissolve." Also had trouble with "torrents"--it mostly brought up file-sharing sites, and besides, what the hell is a water torrent anyway? "Maelstrom" is similarly unscientific, imprecise. I had no idea what Joyce meant by "luteofulvous bed" until I broke the adjective down into two parts, both of which pertained to the color yellow, thus the pic of yellow coral. Turns out Joyce is wrong with his "Sundam trench" (should be Sunda), and the Ashtown gate in Dublin has no well (or, as he weirdly calls it, a "hole in the wall"), which just goes to show that if you write a 700-page novel about your old hometown, you're bound to remember something wrong.
Funny that Joyce, although he does include spring tides, does not mention tidal waves. More surprising is his neglecting to address high and low tides, something I'd have guessed he'd go totally apeshit over. (Plumbing and other water-delivery concepts are also absent, but the paragraph I illustrated is preceded by an equally extravagant paragraph in which Joyce traces the delivery of Bloom's water, step by meticulous step, from the Roundwood reservoir [cubic capacity: 2,400 million gallons] to the kitchen faucet.) The original Odyssey kept coming back to the wine-dark sea, and in Joyce's work allusions to water are hardly confined to this chapter. Elsewhere in the book Joyce sends a crumpled-up leaflet for a journey down the Liffey, compares the greenish morning bay to the bowl of bile beside Stephen's mother's deathbed, and, in one of his attempts to rid the world of hyphens, speaks of the "scrotumtightening sea" and "everchanging neverchanging water." His water obsession would culminate in Finnegans Wake with the "Anna Livia Plurabelle" chapter, an account of two washerwomen on the Liffey in which hundreds of names of real rivers are ingeniously worked into the text. Upon completing it, Joyce ran out his door and down to the nearest river (in this case the Seine) to make sure the chapter's cadences truly sounded like water.
In seeking images, I found that "gulley," "marsh," and "fathom," besides being hydro terms, are also the names of various popular heavily-augmented women. (If Google searches are the yardstick, Michelle Marsh currently enjoys far more popularity than all the world's actual marshes combined.) Finally, here's a picture that I liked very much but could not find a place for even in a paragraph as seemingly all-inclusive as Joyce's. And here's another.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
NEW YORK -- All-Star forward Rashard Lewis of the Orlando Magic has been suspended without pay for 10 games for testing positive for an elevated testosterone level, the NBA announced Thursday. "First and foremost I take full responsibility for the situation and accept the corresponding penalty," Lewis said in a statement released by the league. "Toward the end of the season I took an over-the-counter supplement which at the time I did not realize included a substance banned by the NBA. I apologize to Magic fans, my teammates and this organization for not doing the research that should come with good judgment."
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
The nerve of some people. Here's the script's author, Robert Towne, on how society deals with people like Noah Cross: "Originally, I had Evelyn kill her father [and] you knew that [she] was going to have to stand trial. . .But the larger crime against the whole community went unpunished. In a sense, that was my point, that there are some crimes for which you get punished, and killing her father was a crime for which she could be punished, and so she would be. Then, there are some crimes that our society isn't equipped to punish, so we reward it. You displace a whole community and take their land and there's really nothing that's done except putting their names on a plaque at City Hall." The full interview--and it's a good one--is online.