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Showing posts from April 24, 2022

on the Adam's Apple

  Although the “body” long ago became an intangible asset of academic study, certain body parts lag behind in the race for recognition Who, for instance, has written a definitive study of the Adam’s Apple? I went to Ebsco, naturally, for the latest gender scholarship, but was disappointed. Aside from an article in something called Pastoral Psychology, the Adam’s apple article that was the longest was, actually, about the apple in Eden that was depicted in Jan van Eyck’s painting of Adam and Eve. Thomas Browne, in the Seventh book of Pseudodoxia epidemica, devotes a chapter to the inquiry into what fruit, exactly, hung from the tree of good and evil. He goes through the responses of scholars, and even inquires into why, in the Bible, sometime a detail is given, sometimes it is withdrawn – an inquiry pursued in different texts some four hundred years later by Roland Barthes. However, Browne is not a disturber of the critical peace, but bids us be content with outlines and the general mor

The Face at the window

  I was reading to Adam from our Sherlock Holmes book a couple of nights ago. Adam is at an age that he still allows, and even likes, his Dad to read to him, and I am, of course, a ham actor from forever, so I love trying on accents and the whole dramatic reading shtick. The vaudeville in my soul gets little chance to act out, so I take it when it comes. We were reading “The Creeping Man.” Adam didn’t see what was so scary about a creeping man, so I had him turn off the lights and I crept on my belly on the floor. He admitted that it could be the slightest bit scary. Then we read about the man looking in the window at his daughter in the middle of the night. Again, Adam objected to this as objectively non-scary. I was tempted to go outside to demonstrate this, but I didn’t. However, we did talk about the “face at the window”. When I was around nine or ten, I slept in a room in the downstairs of our house on Nielson Court in Clarkston, Georgia. It could get very dark in the downstai