The Most Touching Spam

Mon Mar 19, 2007

I’m trying to track down an expression I found in Patrick O’Brian. The OED doesn’t know anything about it, though I did, while looking, discover that Beckett is quoted for two senses of the unmentionable word that forms the first half of this mysterious compound.

The spam was about Samonsite repair, by the way. Or so it claims. It seems Russian in provenance.

I’m just back from this year’s Narrative Conference in D.C. I saw and heard many things. I walked in sleet to eat a Five Guys hamburger, which was quite tasty. I learned from Robert J. Thompson that St. Elsewhere was a far more textured show than I had ever thought. (While googling around a bit about the show’s ending, which I had wanted to ask Thompson had there been time if he knew if the writers had ever claimed that they had planned it from the beginning, I found Brian Weatherson’s argument against the “Tommy Westphall” thesis, certainly worth a read).

I have an essay on Primer which I hope will be in print soon, and there was a paper on the program about it. The panelist was unable to make it, however. The other two papers were good, though I didn’t have a time to ask if The Village was an exercise in esoteric Straussianism. My own panel was fun, and I’ll write about it later.