Sunday, December 28, 2008

Briefly (foot)Noted

Being in a palinopsiatic mode this AM (not to be confused with a palinesque mode) I thought it important to comment (reply? dissertate?) on the pithy observations of the unreal. (1)

Again, back to the Growlery:
More important, though, is the rôle they (footnotes, ed.) fulfil in storytelling. Some of them are simple bibliographic attributions for (usually nonexistent) books such as "John Segundus
Ah Ha! The footnoting of nonexistent books. (Or, more cleverly, the footnoting of existent books that don't offer clarification, support or even commentary on the point that has been made. (Be careful using this ploy in a PhD thesis).)("(...)" doesn't count as a footnote. Ed.)

Two books come to mind: The Third Policeman by Flan O'Brien (10). Prominent in the plot is the narrator's study and obsession with a fictitous character, De Selby:
De Selby is the name of a fictitious Irish philosopher and scientist, originally invented by Flann O'Brien for his novel The Third Policeman. De Selby does not actually appear in the plot of the novel, but only in references and frequent footnotes
One of the more interesting footnotes, if I can recall, concerns the legend that Irish faeries (not to be confused with English fairies a la (diacritical) Lewis Carrol and Tinkerbell). Irish Faeries are much more robust and obtain a color when they are born. The color is dependent on the direction of the wind. Silver blue for due East, e.g., etc. As the Faerie grows older, he (and it is always a he) begins to fade until, at a certain age he becomes invisible. (14)

A second book probably started this whole thing. I refer here to Giles Goat Boy by John Barth. (15). In this, in retrospect, tedious academic novel, Barth introduces the footnote in the footnote. Then, of course, the recursive footnote that refers back to the primary work (17). More accurately, apparently, it is a hypertext encyclopedia. I.e., Wikipedia. Truly, this is the quote in Wikipedia (18):
A hypertext encyclopedia also figures into the novel, quite presciently given the 1966 publication.
As for footnote vs endnote?
"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."
And this is from:

(1) Having just typed this I suspect that, rather than the shabby, post modern inclusion of links, I should have actually footnoted these references. (2)

(2) How does one manually footnote a link? Must one include the publisher (3) ? Date and time, like a journal? (5). On the other hand (7)! And this further reflection (8).

(3) I would assume Microsoft(trademark) (4) since they provided Internet Explorer (trademark)l

(4) Author's note: unable to access "trademark" stroke on keyboard.

(5) e.g. Growlery: Vol ?; Dec 23 pg 1; para 2; line five (not accepted EndNote format (6))

EndLink® I had no recourse but to add a true link. Also, I found the registered trademark by copying it from the Growlery

(7) The actual link is which may or may not, in the future lead you to the Growlery

(8) Is the use of an exclamation point (9) a clever way of drawing attention to a foot note?

(9) !

(10) Flann O'Brien pen name for Brian O'Nolan (Irish: Brian Ó Nualláin) (5 October 1911 – 1 April 1966) but more famously known for his column in the Irish Times, Man Bites Dog (11) under the pseudonym Myles na gCopaleen. (12)

(11) The bite of a man is much more serious than the bite of a dog. It is probable that dogs with lethal bacteria were selected against in evolution by angry owners when, after a dog bite, their leg fell off.

(12) It is noted that this is a Galic name but absent diacritical marks. Since the Growlery knows how to find ®, I assume he could teach us diacritic marks (13)

(13) Live a critic diacritic.

(14) Sometimes, when in a conversation with those vociferous, I feel like I'm disappearing too. Strange

(15) Perhaps one of the most overrated authors in America. Especially his attempt at history of the Chesapeake Bay, The Sotweed Factor. (16)

(16) Personal opinion.


(18) Who said irony was dead?


Julie Heyward said...

Wonderful! Masterful! I am in tears ...

We have both now made a blizzard of footnotes. Perhaps this is a trick of the clever master chwannen llyfu cymhorthdal[1]? He has led us down the path to footnote-dom.


[1] chwannen = flea; llyfu= lick(s); cymhorthdal = grant[2]

[2] see the Dept. of Welsh translator

Dr. C said...

Methinks you have welched (1) a bit in this. Though the bit, to be sure is rare (2).

(1) Etymology: probably from Welsh, adjective
Date: 1905
(1a) sometimes offensive : to avoid payment —used with on
(1b) sometimes offensive : to break one's word : renege

(2) Welsh rare·bit
Pronunciation: \-ˈrer-bət\
Function: noun
Etymology: by alteration
Date: 1785
welsh rabbit

Julie Heyward said...

[hanging head in shame]

Yes. I did a bit with Welch[1]. The purple lips gave me away?

It was a fine bit[2], though.

[1] Welch's
[2] Bit by a vegan

Dr. C said...

Hmmm. Perhaps you were actually into the Cherry Preserves!!

Julie Heyward said...


Yes. That too.

Thank you, Dr. C., for a wonderfully funny post and an enjoyable exchange here in comments. It's been a pleasure.


Dr. C said...

My pleasure, to be sure.