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Saturday, November 04, 2006

Election Day Perk

Stephen Elliot wants you to get out and vote on Tuesday. He has even enlisted several authors to call and remind you. Authors include Dave Eggers, Jonathan Franzen, Andrew Sean Greer, and Audrey Niffenegger. I wasn't familiar with all of them. Your Favorite Author Wants You to Vote , well anyway, the ones Elliot could enlist for this "wake up call."

I'd choose Dave Eggers. How about you? (you don't really get to choose a specific author, but just out of curiosity...)

Finished The Lost Child last night. Will review later.
The Light Years is certainly getting short shrift (1. brief and inconsiderate or unsympathetic treatment). Not that it isn't worthy of more, but each short section is an episode in the life of one of the characters, and much like a short story, is easy to read and put down. The narrative thread is not much evident, the characters and their thoughts and situations take precedence. I suspect this will begin to change soon.


I wrote short shrift and then wondered about the phrase, one I've used many times, but don't remember ever actually writing out. On looking it up, I discovered that one of the definitions was: 2. a short period of time before execution during which a condemned prisoner could confess (archaic). The first definition is the one now in common usage. Shrift comes from shrive (to hear somebody's confession of sins and give the person absolution.) Thus, short shrift originally meant that curtailed shriving before execution. Love discovering the etymology of words that I've used and taken for granted and finding a logical but completely unthought of meaning.

4 comments:

  1. Shrift is a term I've used before but never stopped to think of it's origin. Thanks, Jenclair, for looking that up and sharing it.Very interesting.

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  2. I'd pick Dave Eggers too! I've had A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius on my TBR list for ages and for some reason or other have yet to read it.

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  3. booklogged - I'm always finding words that I've used and taken for granted suddenly standing out and making me curious. I thought this one was really interesting.

    SuziQ - I really liked AHWofSG. It was long, but fascinating.

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  4. How cool! I'd pick Vendela Vida - love her quirky writing style!

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