Portrait

Ask and it shall be revealed

"I have also invented some new words. ‘Confuzzled,’ which is being confused and puzzled at the same time, ‘snirt,’ which is a cross between snow and dirt, and ‘smushables,’ which are squashed groceries you find at the bottom of the bag. I have sent a letter to the Oxford Dictionary people asking them to include my words but I have not heard back."

Mary and Max (2009)

Stock movie line that never fails to make me cringe: “I’m going to the police and tell them that you’re a murderer!” This typically takes place shortly before an additional murder is committed.

"Evans’ signature literary technique is to ask a big question, then follow it up with a smartass answer. Is this technique hackneyed and over-used? You bet your sweet ass it is. Does Evans abuse every tortured metaphor and cliché in existence? Does Warren Beatty have an eye for the ladies? Does it work like gangbusters all the same? I wouldn’t be writing this essay if it didn’t. The Kid Stays In The Picture should come with a warning label: Prolonged exposure to Robert Evans’ prose invariably leads to talking like Robert Evans. The man is infectious. Like a disease. A really good disease."

[Is The Kid Stays In The Picture a masterpiece Hollywood memoir? Oh yeah]

"All right. Before I go, I want a description of her."
“She’s beautiful! The most beautiful woman in the world!”
That would look nice on a reward circular.
“That isn’t exactly what I want,” I told him. “How old is she?”
“Twenty-two.”
“Height?”
“About five feet eight inches, or possibly nine.”
“Slender, medium or plump?”
“She’s inclined toward slenderness, but she—”
There was a note of enthusiasm in his voice that made me fear he was about to make a speech, so I cut him off with another question.
“What color hair?”
“Brown—so dark it’s almost black—and it’s soft and thick and—”
“Yes, yes. Long or bobbed?”
“Long and thick and—”
“What color eyes?”
“You’ve seen shadows on polished silver when—”
I wrote down gray eyes and hurried on with the interrogation.

Dashiell Hammett, “The Girl With the Silver Eyes”

The Adventures Of An Irish Smock, Interspersed With Whimsical Anecdotes Of A Nankeen Pair Of Breeches.

The Adventures Of A Pin, Supposed To Be Related By Himself, Herself, Or Itself.

The Bloody Hand, Or, The Fatal Cup. A Tale Of Horror!

Flim-Flams! Or, The Life And Errors Of My Uncle, And The Amours Of My Aunt! With Illustrations And Obscurities, By Messieurs Tag, Rag, And Bobtail. With An Illuminating Index!

The Genuine And Entertaining Memoirs Of A Well-Known Woman Of Intrigue. Written By Herself.

The History Of A Dog. Written By Himself, And Published By A Gentleman Of His Acquaintance. Translated From The French.

Memoirs Of An Old Wig.

The Perils And Critical Escapes Of Timothy Ginnadrake, That Child Of Checquered Fortune.

Reft Rob; Or, The Witch Of Scot-Muir, Commonly Called Madge The Snoover.

Things By Their Right Names; A Novel. By A Person Without A Name.


[from 100 Actual Titles of Real 18th-Century Novels]

"Oh, if the light is the most tomorrow morning, we pride from the twilight over? It really is the most famous corner of the stars, and struck the changes in the sea, watching we saw the wall, the bombs bursting in air is shown by the the rocket, the power and the Red Sea, the use of the mark for the night. Oh, what they do, and still not flag waved star farmers, and in the house of the strong man?"

(The Star-Spangled Banner, via multiple Google translations)