Monday, April 27, 2015

Lear // semiotics / Casablanca

If you’ve had the experience of happening upon old notes whose reason for being is beyond recovery, you will understand my interest in what follows. It’s in my hand, all caps, fountain pen on a strip of unruled paper, 4″ × 8½″:


semiotics / Casablanca

imagination / reality

    cockadoodledoo    mkgnao: Ulysses cat
    cocorico = French
    kykeliky = Norwegian “kee ka lee kee”

    vovvov = Norwegian “vahv vahv”
    гав гав= Russian “gahv gahv”

    mouse says “ruff ruff” to cat who
    says “meow” — shows her kids the
    benefit of learning a foreign language

Didion: The White Album
This page is, of course, related to teaching. But why these items appear together is beyond me. I’ve taught Umberto Eco’s essay on Casablanca and Roland Barthes’s Mythologies . I think I once taught Joan Didion’s The White Album too. My daughter Rachel has my copy of that book. Mkgnao is what the Blooms’ cat says in James Joyce’s Ulysses. The mouse that scared away the cat is an old joke; I don’t know where I picked it up.

comments: 2

The Crow said...

My searing failure to make a note to self clear and specific enough is from my earlier days as a wanna-be writer. It was in reference to a character I was developing (long ago forgotten), a short phrase that popped into my head and electrified my thinking: "Like Huck, he..."

I've kept that slip of paper for more than 40 years, as a reminder of the difference between me and, say, Faulkner or Welty or Clemens.

They would have written an entire novel around that cryptic analogy - a short story, at least.

Oh, the shame, the hubris!

Anonymous said...

What you were sing is now no longer ill eagle.