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Showing posts tagged: Gulliver click to see more stuff tagged with Gulliver
Tue
Jan 12 2010 12:00pm

Set the controls for the heart of the sun

 “This is the beginning of the conte philosophique—not a story with a thesis to demonstrate, but one in which the ideas appear and disappear and tease one another in turn, for the pleasure of one who has enough familiarity with them to be playful with them even when he takes them seriously.” –Italo Calvino, The Uses of Literature.

Baron Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von Münchausen, having submitted affidavits attesting to his veracity in the absence of no less august a person than the Lord Mayor of London and confirmed by Mssrs. Sinbad, Gulliver and Aladdin, recounted with vigor his extraordinary adventures. These include, but are not limited to, outwitting a hungry lion and forty-foot crocodile in Ceylon (where cucumber-bearing trees play in the breeze), travelling by beanstalk to the moon, mending a horse bisected by a portcullis, and treated an elephant pretty roughly with its own trunk.

When it comes to not actually travelling somewhere, famed Parisian dramatist, swordsman and Hector Savinien de Cyrano de Bergerac easily eclipsed Marco Polo (who merely might not have gone to China) by visiting to the moon and if that were not enough to impress, he also took vacation on the sun. And Quebec. A pity that a man so full of lighter-than-air travel and fantastic zeal should have met his end here on Earth, by way of a demonstration of gravity: namely a large piece of wood dropped on his head. (I admit, I conflate truth and fiction, here, but only with a very sound reason: it’s more fun.)

[hope and a hey and a hope sha na]