I try not to be intentionally inhuman. I'm inhuman enough by nature not to have to make any special efforts in that direction, confessed Virginia Woolf.
Thomas Paine believed himself endowed with ESP. Although in 1785 he wouldn't have called it that.
The contemporary news reporter who apparently labored under the impression that Ramone was the real last name of at least some of the members of the band The Ramones. And that they were actually brothers.
T.S. Eliot had a fear of mouthwash. And camels.
So reported Pound, who had a fear of spaghetti.
William Blake died of an infected toenail.
Which he refused to have treated.
Believing it to be the manifestation of the Archangel Gabriel, dictating a prophetic poem.
Reviewer acutely aware of the pointlessness of writing another book review no one will read. And, besides, who is there to care about her views on anything? And who could blame them?
Weddings and funerals bring out all I loathe most about human nature, so quipped Dorothy Parker.
At last I now have the perfect excuse not to listen to anyone's idea of music but my own. Said Beethoven on the consolations of going deaf.
The last time I'll have to look at any of their cow-stupid faces,
a blind Milton consoled himself, thinking of his critics.
F.T. Marinetti never learned to drive an automobile.
Alfred Jarry was buried upright on his bicycle per his deathbed request.
In full bicycle racing regalia, seated backwards.
I owe everything to the Jewish people. I couldn't have accomplished one-tenth of what I've accomplished without them. God bless them.
Said Adolf Hitler.
All in all, not such a bad guy to have over for pot roast, said Charlie Chaplin.
Re: Josef Stalin.
The stubborn rumor that Lincoln was homosexual.
The stubborn rumor that Washington was also.
And that Andre Gide was not.
Reviewer writing this review in the form of the book it is purporting to review. As if that isn't obvious enough, she points it out nonetheless lest anyone accuse her of not being half as clever as she thinks she's being.
An awful lot of crying over spilt milk.
Being Nietzsche's summation of Schopenhauer's philosophy.
Who will be the first school-shooter to proclaim that his actions were intended as a work of art? Who will be the first to apply for a grant from the National Council for the Arts to finance the planning and enacting of a performance of "homegrown terrorism"?
Often reciting in her head the memorized poems of Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath confided to her diary. In order to pass the time while fellating Ted Hughes.
Einstein's fetish for women's footwear.
Noted by Enrico Fermi.
Wittgenstein was a championship caliber ping pong player.
Even with his off-hand.
The impossibility of laughing all the way to the bank. Or all the way to anywhere, as pointed out by F. Scott Fitzgerald.
Reviewer unaware of the frozen smile on her face while recounting a horrific childhood trauma. Until the psychiatrist asks why she's smiling.
John Cummings being Johnny Ramone's real name.
Jeffrey Hyman being Joey's.
He has no right to complain to God about the evils and injustices of the world and the sorrows of life who himself nevertheless decides to bring a child into it.
Mina Loy earned money as a dominatrix.
Lyndon Johnson kept pony-girl porn in a bottom drawer of his desk in the Oval Office.
Reviewer's unsubstantiated but nevertheless unshakable belief that David Markson committed suicide. Although it's reported simply that his children found him dead one morning in bed at age 83. And his ex-wife's confirmation that he was suffering from cancer.
The persistent rumor that Van Gogh did not attempt suicide but was in fact shot by the pimp of the woman for whom he cut off part of his ear.
Ben Franklin, who had a slave hold the kite string during the lightning storm.
Just in case.
Georg Trakl tried to drown himself unsuccessfully three times.
Before finally succeeding to kill himself via erotic asphyxiation after a cocaine overdose.
The rumors circulating at the time that Byron murdered Shelley and made it look like an accident. Or that Shelley drowned himself.
Suspicion of suicide, Roethke, too.
A parody, a cry for help, a petulant demand for attention. These being a few of the things this review might be.
A sly form of autobiography being another.
Napoleon who apparently believed that he could be raised from the dead. And planned his triumphant return from the grave to reconquer France with the aid of a necromancer. Who was actually in the employ of his captors and hastened the former emperor's death via arsenic poisoning.
A tasteless joke, another.
The hushed-up evidence that immortality already exists, but only for the super wealthy elite, who fake death to appear mortal and lay low until they can safely return to the world with a new identity. Steve Jobs being onesuch.
Reviewer considers this not as far-fetched as it might initially appear. Consider, for instance, the ancient Egyptians, for whom immortality was also a privilege reserved exclusively for the elite.
Reviewer inquiring, in all serious, if her husband knows where he might procure a cyanide tablet so that she wouldn't have to survive him, should it come to that.
The chances that Emily Dickinson ever performed oral sex on anyone. Are they greater or less than those of a comet destroying the earth within the next eighteen months?
Upon his death, the discovery that Wallace Stevens had let his own life insurance policy lapse. To his family's outrage.
Atilla the Hun had an angelic singing voice—with which he would serenade the prisoners he had disemboweled.
A Frida Kahlo at loose ends in New York City, estranged again from Diego, once papered the city with ads soliciting the services of someone to strangle her.
The mysterious "Laure" who toyed with the idea of letting her lover Georges Bataille murder her. A human sacrifice, she would become the sacred transgression cementing together the secret literary society Bataille hoped to form as a new kind of religion, now that God and the old religions were dead and obsolete, respectively.
Reviewer thinking she would seriously consider the idea of becoming a blood sacrifice herself had she been Bataille's lover.
You never know what's enough until you regain consciousness in an alley bleeding from the rectum with three of your front teeth loosened, said Oscar Wilde, riffing on Blake.
The purest surrealist act would be to fire a loaded pistol randomly into a crowd, people like to forget Andre Breton once said. Or prefer to think he was just being surreal, especially since 9-11.
Found in Osama bin Laden's bunker after his murder by Navy SEALS: Horton Hears a Who.
Found open on Theodore Geisel's bedside at the time of his death from oral cancer: The Qur'an.
Do your best. Laugh at yourself.
Being the best advice David Markson could offer in conclusion.