Tuesday, November 3, 2015

This blog-creation process is no fun, but I'm going to hang in here.

Right now I am reading a graphic novel that has captured my heart. Called The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, the book opens with straightforward bios of the two main characters. Then it launches itself into flights of fancy which occur in the multiverse, an alternative universe where time is a bit wobbly. Among other amusing adventures, there has been an exploration of the possibility that Ada was actually the notorious Person from Porlock, who interrupted Coleridge and sidetracked the completion of his poem about Kubla Khan and Xanadu. In this book, she is selling life insurance.

In another episode Queen Victoria makes a visit, accompanied by Lord Wellington and his horse Copenhagen, who is very well behaved.

In the current adventure, Mary Ann Evans has turned up with a manuscript by her 'friend' George. Babbage is asking questions about the manuscript being analyzed. 'It's not poetry, is it?' Then he goes on to give a definition of poetry, which confuses the writer Evans (and me, too): 'Defining identifier: the aesthetic qualities of the language do not invoke meaning in addition, or in place of, prosaic ostensible meaning.' She replies 'Yes. I mean, no? I mean, when you put it like that I couldn't say.' Then he dumbs it down for her. 'Do the lines go all the way across the page?' That's where I lost it and laughed out loud. Best way to differentiate prose from poetry I've ever read.

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