General Alwany is a pious man who loves his family. He also tortures and kills enemies of the state.
Another “must read” from the bestselling author of The Yacoubian Building………….
Described by André Aciman as “an amazing portrait of fanaticism and cynicism among Egyptian powermongers”.
The five boxing wizards jump quickly
Pilish is an extraordinary form of constrained writing that straddles the boundary between language and mathematics. Pilish literature is written in such a way that the number of letters in each successive word is equal to the successive decimal places of pi, 3.14159265359…
The first few numbers of pi can be memorized using the mnemonic “How I wish I could calculate pi,” while extra decimal places can be added by memorizing ever longer sentences (“How I want a drink, alcoholic of course, after the heavy lectures involving quantum mechanics” takes pi to its 14th decimal place).
However, as a form of constrained writing, Pilish was taken to an extreme by the American mathematician Mike Keith in his 1996 short story Cadaeic Cadenza, which comprises 3835 words all following the decimal sequence of pi (0s are words 10 letters long).
As if that weren’t mindboggling enough, in 2010 Keith published the novella Not A Wake which pushed that total to 10,000. Check it out here.
A lipogram is a piece of constrained writing or a word game consisting of writing paragraphs or longer works in which a particular letter or group of letters is avoided.
An example would be the book Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn (2001) – which is often described as a “progressively lipogrammatic epistolary fable”.
Donald Trump has accused President Biden of “assaulting the American people” by using “offensively over-long” words. Mr Trump singled out “hyperbole,” “administer,” and “effective” as examples………………..
“Surely every car is a people carrier?”
Ideas emerge, are shaped in the act of writing…….a special, indispensable form of talking to myself.
The Naming of Cats is a difficult matter,
It isn’t just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I’m as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there’s the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo, or James,
Such as Victor or Jonathan, George or Bill Bailey —
All of them sensible everyday names.
There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter —
But all of them sensible everyday names.
But I tell you, a cat needs a name that’s particular,
A name that’s peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?
Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkstrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum —
Names that never belong to more than one cat.
But above and beyond there’s still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover —
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.
When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.
T S Eliot