The Air at the Top of the Bottle

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Entries from December 2012

Children’s Card Games (190)

December 27th, 2012 · 1 Comment

John G. Saxe takes his rightful place in the canon, in this 1874 edition of “Vignette Authors” from Selchow & Richter.  His colleagues are: Washington Irving, W. C. Bryant, Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, Bayard Taylor, W. M. Thackeray, J. F. Cooper, J. G. Whittier, Wilkie Collins, Revd. H. W. Beecher, J. Russell Lowell, J. G. […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera · Literature

“The Monkey and the Parrot,” by Alphonse Allais

December 24th, 2012 · 5 Comments

Here, as a Christmas treat, is the story of “The Monkey and the Parrot,” written by Alphonse Allais in 1899, and translated by the undersigned this afternoon. THE MONKEY AND THE PARROT Speaking of parrots, do you know the Persian fable of “The Monkey and the Parrot,” a story both ingenious and rich in instruction […]

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Tags: Alphonse Allais · Animals · Literature

Children’s Card Games (189)

December 23rd, 2012 · No Comments

“Black Peter” is a popular game in Eastern Europe; here are three other examples.  This one was published by Grafika-Grafoprint, in Zagreb, Croatia, as “Crni Petar.”  In this case, Black Peter is not the traditional African or chimney sweep, associated with Christmas, but a hunter; and the other cards are the hunted.  And here is […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Children’s Card Games (188)

December 20th, 2012 · 3 Comments

There have been other card games that adapt non-card games: baseball or bowling, to name two.  This 1959 offering from Russell, “Tail the Donkey,” reworks the old party favorite.  Players compete to collect a complete donkey — in a specific order, to make it trickier.  No blindfolds or sharp objects are required.  The design on […]

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

A Stereo Picture of a Woman Looking at Stereo Pictures

December 19th, 2012 · No Comments

(Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Stereoscopy · The Ineffable

Bulletin (19)

December 16th, 2012 · No Comments

My translation of Pierre-Henri Cami’s playlet, “The Man in the Iron Mask,” is included in the first issue of The Black Scat Review.  You read it first on this site; now read it with other interesting material in a magazine. Black Scat Books will also publish a series of booklets collecting the Captain Cap stories, […]

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Tags: Alphonse Allais · Bulletins

Children’s Card Games (187)

December 13th, 2012 · 4 Comments

Ah, we have another “Old Maid.”  This one is undated, and published by E. E. Fairchild.  As the box says, it features “Characters from Nursery Rhymes and Folk Tales.”  It appears to be a revised version of this one. And here’s the Old Maid. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Card Games · Ephemera

Mutt and Jeff Discuss Taxes

December 10th, 2012 · 3 Comments

Mutt and Jeff discuss taxes, in this daily strip from 1926.  Jeff has it all figured out. (Posted by Doug Skinner.  From The Mutt and Jeff Cartoons, Book 11, 1926.)

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Tags: Cartoons · Politics

Children’s Card Games (186)

December 7th, 2012 · 5 Comments

The “New Testament Game,” published in 1899 by The Fireside Game Company, was a variation on the popular game of “Quartets.”  The deck contained 52 scenes from the life of Jesus, divided into groups of four, which the player then collected. (Posted by Doug Skinner)

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Tags: Belief Systems · Card Games · Ephemera

Mapping “Nouvelles Impressions d’Afrique”

December 4th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Readers of Raymond Roussel’s penultimate work, Nouvelles Impressions d’Afrique, are faced with a problem.  The work is built on a system of nested parentheses, and they’re hard to negotiate.  Some readers have built machines, or used card files; I found it easier to make a map, which I could then check to find my way […]

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Tags: Literature