Saturday, July 31, 2010


From a June 11, 2010 posting by Terry Castle in the Forum for PEN America 12: Correspondences, on PEN's website, in response to the following:

1 Write the first paragraph of a letter you’d like to send either to another writer, living or dead, or to a fictional character.


2 Describe your experience with the new technology of correspondence: Twitter, e-mail, Facebook, etc.

The end of the Castle posting reads: Whereas, my sweetest doily, I am terse forever.

Doily is such a darling word, eye-wise especially.

My favorite sentences from farther up in the post include

Infarction it: you have only to endow your head, or cock a snood at me, and I will pull off all your pretty crinklings and creosote, remove your glittering earwigs, and radish you on the spot.

I must say: radishing on the spot! Then there's

Yes, librarians everywhere are coming out of the quonset. It’s a hut!

(slantwise Canadian, there), and

So let me bisque in your charms.

I post all this at the end of a week during which I am considering closing down my Facebook account. On a related note, reading over a journal entry from years ago, I passed a short conversation I had with a man who tried out a cell phone while walking on the street. He said he realized that he had missed everything but everything occurring over the course of four blocks. He told me he was not going to be buying a cell phone. I wonder if he has one now.

Sometimes I also wonder if there are any otherwise regular parents in the city who do not have and use cell phones deliberately (as parents) and whose children also don't have and use them.

I half-expect technology to figure heavily in the next Austen parody, something like Mansfield Cell-Phone-Tower Park.

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