The naming of hurricanes

Sep. 19th, 2017 08:50 pm
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[personal profile] negothick
Just wondering what genius decided it was a good idea to have Jose and Maria in the same year.
I've been told solemnly that Trump won't let them into the US mainland. . .

That talk I'm giving in Willimantic

Sep. 17th, 2017 10:32 pm
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[personal profile] negothick
The one about witches, on October 29. Just learned the time: It will be at 4 p.m.
Willimantic has an excellent brewpub, The Main Street Cafe, better known as WilliBrew. It's located in the old post office, a grand Beaux Arts structure from the little city's prosperous days. The menu has P.O. puns--the salad menu is called "Letters and Tomatoes." There is great veggie chili. The beer list also refers to the location, with "Zip" and "Rail Mail" etc. http://willibrew.com/beers-offered/

So, gentle readers, if anyone happens to be lurking in the Quiet Corner (yes, I didn't make that up--it's the "branding" that cost the local tourist board a lot of money) on Sunday October 29, let me know and we can combine witches, old mills, textile machinery, frogs (another local legend) and WilliBrew.

Strange name-checks

Sep. 14th, 2017 05:24 pm
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So I'm re-reading IT, in preparation for seeing the recent movie version. I'm pretty sure I haven't re-read it cover to cover since practically memorizing it while writing my book New England's Gothic Literature: History and Folklore of the Supernatural (etc.). IT is practically a textbook on the Gothic in New England, encompassing Bangor's history and folklore together with so many other self-referential tropes of the Gothic. So that means I last read it ca. 1993-4.

And I came up against something that I remembered not at all. A tiny thing, among the 1000+ pages of this Magnum Opus, but so striking that I felt like one of the Losers Club, who were constantly having their everyday objects invaded by the Weird. Ben Hanscom as an adult returns to Derry to re-fight the Evil Incarnate of his childhood. He visits the library (of course!), takes a book at random from the shelf, and gets a library card with The Latest Technology! (Microfiche). Of course he discovers that the book is one he had taken out as a child, and it still had a card pocket with borrowers' names on a card inside. His name is there, but there are three others--and the next two are Charles N. Brown and David Hartwell!
What must have been a merry jest in 1986 is especially poignant now, with both men dead under--well, if not mysterious, then unusual and well-publicized circumstances. The third name, "Joseph Brennan," probably refers to Joseph Payne Brennan, still alive at the time of the book's publication (he died in 1990). All three men were prominent in the first World Fantasy Convention (1975) and the 1979 WFC, both held in Providence. In fact, Brennan's short novel Act of Providence was set at the 1975 con, where King was a Guest of Honor. Wikipedia reminds me that King wrote the introduction to Brennan's short story collection The Shapes of Midnight (1980).

If there's ever an "Annotated IT" (which will need to be a Talmud-sized endeavor), here's a little entry for it.

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