roar-shock cinci, part 3

this isn’t really a blogging, it’s more a small momentum push so maybe i soul-find the energy to do a more serious sermon on something Real at a later date.

this is a incidence trajectory to share a random connect-a-dot. i won’t even grant this narrative because i haven’t the heart.

The Setting: my head

The Actors: two novels, and cincinnati.

i’m just going to list clause-less facts in disorder [internal, before-the-blog’s-even-published update: there are a lot of facts] , and then maybe put them together.

  • in the newspaper freddy durkee promises adult eduction will revitalize careers
  • sinclair lewis wrote babbitt in 1920s [23?]
  • sinclair lewis particularly liked the Optimist Club
  • ferdydurke is named after freddy durkee
  • witold gombrowicz was a polish author
  • sinclair lewis was not a polish author
  • babbitt fictionalizes civic boosterism
  • freddy durkee is not the main character of babbitt
  • witold gombrowicz wrote ferdydurke in 1930s [37?]
  • babbitt is the main character of babbitt
  • sinclair lewis liked to do “fieldwork” on a topic before writing a book
  • zenith is the city in babbitt
  • sinclair lewis is neither upton sinclair nor oscar lewis
  • zenith is a mishmash of many cities
  • in ferdydurke a man is shoved back into humiliating youth and schooling
  • danuta borchardt translated ferdydurke recently
  • zenith most closely resembles cincinnati [oh we all knew this was coming]
  • babbitt grew up in catawba
  • catawba was the wine cinci was famous for
  • longworth wrote “catawba wine” about cinci
  • danuta borchardt wrote that freddy durkee was the main character of babbitt
  • there are other good clues for babbitt being set in “cinci lite”
  • but i forget them
  • sinclair lewis did most of his “fieldwork” on boosterism in cinci
  • ferdydurke is named after freddy durkee
  • freddy durkee is not the main character of babbitt

the arc that i drew out of these facts was (or is) basically:

Cincinnati’s absurdity [disclaimer: not that cincinnati is more absurd than any other city, it’s just the point of articulation for this trajectory]  —-> inspires sinclair lewis to write babbitt ——> babbitt in some odd way inspires ferdydurke

delete the middle, which i think is acceptable in logic [maybe in symbolic reasoning it’s called transmutation?] and you have the following fact:

cincinnati’s absurdity inspired ferdydurke

what do you call that? it’s real, but it’s not intentional or observable or provable in any way.


that was ok fun.

i hate positionality. well it’s ok. but it’s not a puzzle; it’s too deductive as explanation

bruno schulz drew that cover. bruno schulz left his small town as little as possible. almost never. he did go to school in vienna though.

i can feel it building in a hum around me, the genial machine. i’m going, sleeping on the train


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