[ 1. Paris binder front cover ]
[ 2. Paris binder At the Musee d'Orsay poem ]
[ 3. Paris binder cross-outs ]
[ 4. Paris binder opium perfume ]
Students, As I prepare these lecture notes, and in addition to the Samuels, we find upon my desk a thermos of coffee laced with rum, this notebook, and a blue, paper packet that contains a single human tooth. [...] Alfred Muswell calls for a literature opposed to realism. His model is the stories of Lilith Blake. We’re told Blake is best known for her collection The Reunion and Others, but best known to us is The White Hands and Other Tales. [...] We may as well note here that the title The White Hands and Other Tales is very similar to the title of the Samuels book we hold in our own hands, The White Hands and Other Weird Tales. Similar, but not the same. Will the Samuels effect us as the Blake did Muswell?
…Mr. [Malcolm] O’Hagan incorporated a nonprofit dedicated to the project. He soon hired Mr. Anway, founder of the Boston-based firm Amaze Design, who organized brainstorming sessions with writers, publishers, scholars, teachers and booksellers in various cities.
Those who skip Ms. [Maureen] Corrigan’s video commentary on literary experimentalism, for example, may not realize that “Lolita” is more than a novel that “hinges on a road trip — a classic American genre — and riffs on motel and teen culture,” as the brief wall text dedicated to Vladimir Nabokov puts it.
Is “In the great green room,” as famous a first line as “Call me Ishmael”? Quite possibly. Margaret Wise Brown wrote dozens of children's books, including The Runaway Bunny (1942) and Goodnight Moon (1946). Brown’s stories are about the everyday life of children (often represented by animals), written in a subtle—but instantly recognizable—verse that lends itself to being read aloud. Brown’s whimsy extended to the home she refurbished for herself on an island off the coast of Maine; she called it “The Only House,” though it was not.
If this occurs, maybe the idea of “Hypnos” being on a college syllabus will acquire the same outré patina as reading Naked Lunch in the 1970s, or seem as exciting as Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s “The Yellow Wallpaper” in the 1990s. Maybe its reputation will say to future college students what it says to them today when they read a David Foster Wallace essay or check out one of Chuck Klosterman’s more incisive and less opaque essays. An adult who “gets you” has given you this VERY RELEVANT work that will change your life and open the gates of perception.
I say I worry as well as wonder about this because canonizing means domesticating and containing the power of such texts and their histories.