July 18, 2006

E-mails: Three written today in Alameda

Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 11:50:27 -0700 (PDT)
From: "James Welsch" <__________@yahoo.com>
Subject:Thomas Stearns
To: "Grace Marlier" <__________@hotmail.com>

"By this grace dissolved in place" -T.S.

"There is a time for Thomas Stearns Eliot / & a time for my middle name" -J.H.

"Don't talk like a book, Dad." -Dolores Haze to Humbert Humbert.


I saw the tallest lifeform on earth, the tallest tree, "Giant Tree" in the Humboldt Redwoods. It made me think of Melville. We're trying to find a place to live, in the "bay area".

Did you know that Liam & Virtue are in Brasil! Did you know it's winter down there, but not the white kind. Jenny just told me: "you should write her back like you're a black person, too." I suggest that your entire nice, despite street-wise, e-mail to me was a formality to get Liam's information! Well it didn't work, my liege! Except that I think he does now possess an electronic mail address, including all of his middle names, ljowg at yahoo dot com. He refuses to answer my inquiries regarding the dubya. Thomas Fucking Stearns! Bah! Joanne Kathleen? I love her. L.J. Olaf W.G. contacted me trying to find postcard locations for Ben, Hannah, Melinda, Rachel, of which I had none, only e-mails for two. He falls off the face of the planet & then expects everyone to resubmerge from Atlantis when he's lonely in Latin Land? The scoundrel!

I'm house-sitting for my sister in Alameda, a carefully preserved mid-century community (tupperware & nuke scare) sausaged between "The City" & "The East Bay". We plan to use this old house as a haven while we do our reconnaissence into scary Berkeley, our perhaps new hood. Everyone has a different idea for me. All I want to do is stay in the mountains & live the life of the idle rich. Cosmic forces conspire to move me to urban Dis. Count me momentarily 'in' on B.A., despite the rigamarole which will keep me from you.

Peace & Robert Allen Zimmerman,


Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 11:16:09 -0700 (PDT)
From: "James Welsch" <________@yahoo.com>
Subject: Le
To: "Bonnie Whiting Smith" <____________@gmail.com>

Bonnie Anne,

First, some initial thoughts about the Jabberwock:

I recommend immediately securing a copy of Martin Gardiner's amazing "The Annotated Alice" which contains the most thoro introduction & footnotes to both Alice Books. The section on the Jabberwocky is pages of footnotes, definitions, & translations. I just found the wikipedia entry, which also has definitions & more translations.


It also has a long section on pronunciation, which you may want to study! before pronouncing it "wrong" for a bunch of nubiles.

The French:

Il brilgue: les tôves lubricilleux
Se gyrent en vrillant dans le guave.
Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux
Et le mômerade horsgrave.

Several suggestions for other things you can do or add to the play:
I would recommend using the Humpty-Dumpty dialog as a framework, because it's hilarious & explains the idea of a portmanteaux. Perhaps you could make a humpty-dumpty costume into an instrument!

Look into Joyce's Finnegans Wake - it quotes the Jabberwock repeatedly, & the whole book is inspired by Carroll's innovation of the portmanteaux. If you were interested in quoting other nonsense besides the Jabberwock, perhaps you could sing the quotes from FW. (I'll look them up for you). The major themes of the Joyce are the toppling of the tower of babble-babel-baba, i.e. the nonsensization of language, & it is overlapped with the fall of Carroll's Humpty-Dumpty, & fall of drunk Tim Finnegan from the old Irish song. (Finnegan falls off a ladder & wakes up at his own wake, i.e. Jesus. The whole nonsense novel is supposed to be his dream-death-drunk.) Look for references to Humpty-Dumpty on the first page!

If you're interested in other nonsense verse, there's a good dover edition of Carroll's complete poetry. You might want to include the "Mad Gardner's Song" to your act, always a favorite. Edward Lear is the other famous nonsense poet. I also love Robert Burns, the Scottish bard, & I was going to send you this poem I recently found:

Ye gallants bright,
I rede you right,
Beware o' Bonnie Ann;
Her comely face sae fu' o' grace,
Your heart she will trepan:
Her een sae bright, like stars by night,
Her skin is like the swan;
Sae jimply lac'd her genty waist,
That sweetly ye might span.

Youth, grace, and love attendant move,
And pleasure leads the van:
In a' their charms, and conquering arms,
They wait on Bonnie Ann.
The captive bands may chain the hands,
But love enslaves the man:
Ye gallants braw, I rede you a',
Beware o' Bonnie Ann!

Secondly, our party:
It was mostly people from my work, afterall, plus James Quill & Darren Southworth, my only old friends who made the journey. Three of my ex-coworkers got into a dramatic threesome, rife with yelling & crying, which complicated my simple festivisties. Jenny & I are looking for a place to live in the bay area, house-sitting for my sister in Alameda this week. We were just up in Ashland, Oregon, seeing Shakespeare's King John, & then camping in the redwoods. We saw the tallest tree in the world, the tallest life-form on eath, "Giant Tree", a humbling experience; then drove down the coast, beautiful! I'm reading Nabokov. More later - stay in touch - I have help my sister with the newest baby, one month old, baby Will, already twelve pounds.

James Henry


Date: Tue, 18 Jul 2006 13:52:32 -0700 (PDT)
From: "James Welsch" <_______@yahoo.com>

Subject: P.S.
To: "Bonnie Whiting Smith" <__________@gmail.com>

I found the great lecture I saw, where I was first introduced to the Carroll-Joyce connection:


Scroll down to the section called "Joyce Carroll Notes" for the quotes.

But, if you have time, that whole essay might give you a lot of inspiration & suggestions. Also, I can put you in touch with Mark Burstein if you want to ask him for ideas. There's already been a lot of music/theater/addition writing about the Jabberwocky, & I'm sure he knows everything inside out. There's also a movie based on it from the 70s, directed by Terry Gilliam (Monty Python / Brazil).

Too much information?


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