My friend Alan P. Scott taught me the word “bildungsroman.”  I have spent the whole day looking for a chance to use it in conversation. Try as I might, though, it will not be lessened to fit the things I have to talk about: what I am–or rather am not–going to cook for dinner, whether or not the dogs needed yet another walk on this muggy summer afternoon, or which font would look best on my husband’s business cards.  If it’s going to be of any use to me at all, it will probably have to be over coffee at the Blue Moose with someone else from the English Department.  That’s how it is with all the best new words I’m learning these days.

Jam can be remade if it doesn’t jell correctly.  For every quart, just add ¾ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons bottled lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons liquid pectin and bring everything back to a hard boil for 45-60 seconds.   Voila.  And to think I was going to dump it all down the sink.

I have learned the details of the procedure known as an “icepick lobotomy,” and the particulars of the procedure as it was peformed on Howard Dully, author of My Lobotomy.  I have also learned that there is a reason people read trash during the summers and not deep, ponderous tomes.  It is a beautiful day and all I can do is sit inside and grumble about injustices.  If only I weren’t allergic to trashy novels, I might be at the pool today, growing bronze and fit.  See what books can do to you?

Nasturtiums are better in theory than in salad.

George Carlin is dead.  Apparently, there really are some things that you can’t be clever enough to talk your way out of, and death is one of them.  This means I can stop worrying about saving up enough money to retire forever, which is good, because as it stands I can afford to retire until exactly lunch the following day.   That is, as long as I don’t put any gas in my car.  Which, of course, I will have to do sooner or later.  See?  Some things are inevitable.

  1. Howard Dully says:

    Thanks for the mention !!!!!


  2. sarahemc2 says:

    Thank you, Mr. Dully!

    (Okay, now I feel like I’ve had a brush with fame. This is not unlike riding up and down the elevator in the UN Plaza most mornings with Gordon Parks.)

  3. I would suggest you create your bildungsroman about the strum und drang that results from attempting to use the word bildungsroman. Or help with it, just eat jam.

  4. Hey, Sarah, thanks for the name check! I have to confess, though, that I did not know exactly what “bildungsroman” meant myself, before I had occasion to use it. Also, I tried and failed to work in “roman à clef”… maybe in the next review.


  5. inktarsia says:

    Am trying to do the same with “papyrologist” over the breakfast table, but my obstreperous children complain it spoils their cereal.

    “The term Bildungsroman denotes a novel of all-around self-development. Used generally, it encompasses a few similar genres: the Entwicklungsroman, a story of general growth rather than self-culture; the Erziehungsroman, which focuses on training and formal education; and the Kunstlerroman, about the development of an artist.”

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