Sunday, July 15, 2012

Popcorn by The Colonel

            0          “Constrained writing” involves conditions that forbid or require things or impose a pattern. Examples are limericks, but many other forms exist.

            1          “Gadsby” is an English-language novel of 50,100 words, none of which contain the letter “e” – constrained writing

            2          One writers’ association constrains genres this way:
                        • Short story, under 7,500 words;
                        • Novelette, 7,500 to 17,500;
                        • Novella, 17,500 to 40,000;
                        • Novel, over 40,000.

            3          In that list, what are works of exactly 7,500 and 17,500 words? Also, note that the more words allowed, the shorter the name of the genre.

            4          There was a young lady named Maud
                        A sort of society fraud
                                    In the parlor, ‘tis told
                                    She was distant and cold
                        But on the verandah, my Gawd!

            5          “Alexander” means “defender of men.” Many Indo-European names express battle prowess. Alexander the Great was Alexander III of Macedon.

            6          Paris of Troy, kidnapper of Helen of Sparta, was actually named Alexander. “Paris” was a nickname meaning “backpack” – long story.

            7          Another double-named ancient was Hector’s son, born Scamandrios but nicknamed “Astyanax” (“lord of the city”). Victorious Greeks tossed the boy from Troy’s walls to forestall a line of avengers.

            8          “Caligula” means “little boot,” a nickname for a military brat who traveled with his general father. He was born “Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus.”

            9          Ancient Greeks had nicknames for their gods. Zeus was “the Thunderer.” Artemis, a huntress with dogs, was “Cynthia,” meaning “dog goddess.” Modern Cynthias don’t like hearing that.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Bobrick said...

Nice to see something about Classics in the Eye! I'm hoping to post something about the ancient Olympics soon. Emphasis on hoping.