As an aspiring philosopher, I sometimes regret that I have a bland and monosyllabic last name that will never look grand on a book jacket or sound impressive in conversation. I can relate to this admission from Henry James:

I hate American simplicity. I glory in the piling up of complications of every sort. If I could pronounce the name James in any different or more elaborate way I should be in favor of doing it.

Speaking of words which are fun to pronounce: I could spend an endless amount of time on this website, wherein visitors post short odes to their favorite words. There’s a notepad document of my own selections  tucked away on this laptop, somewhere. My picks incline to the dark and euphonious; at least a plurality come either from Borges or Magic: The Gathering cards.  Off the cuff, “autarch”, “calliope”, “legerdemain”, and “strays” would all be shortlisters. Exotic words figure heavily. Even expressive, beautiful words lose their power with use.

I came across that link via the Book Bench, which also tells me that January is National 2666 Reading Month. Like many lit buffs, I received the Bolaño novel for Christmas. I’ve also made a New Year’s Resolution to read at least two books per month that are not related to my coursework. Perhaps I’ll move 2666 to the top of the pile.


~ by staticandme on January 8, 2009.

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