I’ve just started reading a new book by John Barth called The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor.  As the title might employ, it’s a book full of frame stories, ridiculous and unreliable narrators, fantastic events, and clever revalations.  So far, I thouroughly enjoy it, though it’s not a style that’s for everyone.  If you like linear narrative, or realism, beware.  but beyond the merits of the book itself, I felt highly moved to share a selection of the contents of the back cover, entitled “Praise for John Barth”:

“Barth can pick literature apart in a narrative, play with it, and finally make restoration just in time for it to accomplish its ancient purpose of amusement and revalation.”

The New Republic

” There is no one writing today who has the resources of Barth’s imagination or his depth of understanding about the nature of narrative.”

Los Angeles Times Book Review

“Barth’s cunning is to turn daily life into mythology while turning mythology into domestic comedy.”


“There’s every chance in the world that John Barth is a genius.”


The Oven glove makes yet another attempt to keep me in line.

There was a character on Sesame Street in my youth that I often had cause to identify with.  His name was Forgetful Jones, and even the simplest of tasks or the most obvious of objects could slip from his mind at a moments notice.  All through my life, this has been my problem – the hair brush I didn’t put away is gone for good, or my cell phone is missing yet again.  In elementary school I had a terrible time not because I was unintelligent, but because I would simply forget my homework.  I’ve tried most of the ‘practical’ solutions people give: a dayplanner, lists, emails to myself, sticky notes, the string-around-the-finger.  I cope.  I manage.  I still forget.

The ‘new’ century has also brought the online version of this system of tracking –, a program for taking short notes that is fully synchronized and backed up as long as you have Firefox access to the interweb.  It’s a convenient sidebar tool, and thus far is helping me remember other people’s music suggestions for me and the things I need to get done in the next few days.  I can’t really control the order of appearance for the list, or limit the amount of each note that is ‘shown’ – there is no sort of summary listing.  But it seems like a potentially useful little thing.