“…wide open spaces high above the kitchen.”

Does anybody care? Will anybody want to read this? These questions vex writers in every era. As Charlemagne famously counseled Theodulf of Orleans in a candid letter some twelve centuries ago, “the insecurity is the thing that won’t get lost.” That’s why I was so surprised to see that in October, this blog enjoyed its highest number of readers so far. Thank you—even if my site stats indicate that you were particularly drawn to my Pac-Man glasses and my levitating niece.

New readers continue to find “Quid Plura?” through the thaumaturgy of the modern search engine. Below in bold are some of their stranger searches. I’ve endeavored to add helpful responses on the off chance they didn’t find the answers they were looking for.

beowulf fungus
One of my college roommates contracted the Beowulf fungus. Afterwards, people found it impossible to date him with any certainty.

how stupid is sir gawain?
Gawain is so stupid, it takes him two hours to watch “60 Minutes”!
Gawain is so stupid, he took an umbrella to see “Purple Rain”!
Gawain is so stupid, he thought Sherlock Holmes was a housing project!
Gawain is so stupid, he believed that every instance of the final inflectional -e in MS Cotton Nero A.x was unsounded because he had overlooked the possibility that specifically poetic archaisms may not have existed in prose and failed to consider that an unsounded final -e might corrupt the meter in at least a dozen places in the manuscript!

becoming charlemagne summary
Becoming Charlemagne
is the story of the emperor who won renown as the inventor of gargling, which prior to that time had been practiced only furtively by a remote tribe of Saxons who passed the secret down from father to son as part of their oral tradition.

becoming charlemagne sparknotes
Set against the turbulent backdrop of 19th-century Russia, Becoming Charlemagne is the story of a young princess who gradually awakens to her own potential as a poet, a lover, and a queen. (Tell your teacher you found this summary on the author’s Web site. You will astonish her.)

is grendel lifeless in the sense of death or what?
I’d love to know what exactly this searcher believes the “or what?” might include.

how is grendel a typical monster?
He’s lifeless in the sense of death, man.

lame medieval jokes
Here’s one: What do you call a movement to provide houses for village priests among the ancestors of the South Ossetians? The Alan Parsons Project.

how to make reptile cages
I feel sorry for the lizard enthusiast who thinks he’s found an answer to his question only to find himself at the site of some guy who can’t stop yammering on about Norse mythology and the Icelandic banking system. Sorry, man. May your gecko thrive.

what is the old english phase that christman was derived from
I’ll let this one speak for itself.

name for a cat with a disfigured face yet lovely
The quest to name a disfigured yet lovely cat sounds like a treacly but sincere plot for a creative writing project. MFA candidates, start your engines.

beguile the dog
I don’t know how to beguile a dog, but I do know how to hypnotize a chicken. It’s a skill I picked up sixteen years ago on a farm in Denmark. Readers have accused me of not revealing enough about myself on this blog, so I’m trying to share more. Really, it’s quite a spectacle: the poor chicken just sits there.

Thanks for reading! More book reviews, Charlemagnia, and quasi-medieval doodads coming up soon.

9 thoughts on ““…wide open spaces high above the kitchen.”

  1. “One of my college roommates contracted the Beowulf fungus. Afterwards, people found it impossible to date him with any certainty.”

    But once they did, they found he really grew on them. Ba-dum, bish!


  2. I’ll tell you what warms the cockleshells of my heart:

    A couple or three years ago I posted about literature that I remember reading in high school. We had a conversation at work wherein we tried to remember those short stories, like the one where the feuding men patch up their feud only to be eaten by wolves. (“The Interlopers”. I wish I had a short-term memory, too.) So every year I get hits from people who are looking for information on those same stories that I read, back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and pterodactyls sowed terror through the skies. Kids are still having to read A.B. Guthrie’s “The Bargain” (and a terrific story that is, I still remember it after all these years) and “Life and Death of a Western Gladiator”. I’m not seeing anyone looking for “The Lottery” though. Is that not out there still? Or is its meaning so self-evident that no one has to search the internet about it? No one is searching for “To Build a Fire” either, and that story has a very important message about survival: have an imagination, and listen to the old-timers when they tell you to keep your butt at home.


  3. It probably won’t surprise you that your book is quite popular on the homeschool loops. Apparently there was a dirth of “living” Charlemagne books. Who knew?


  4. Jeff, we met last night on the panel (good times, good times!) and I decided to check out your blog.

    There is no way to spell out the sputtering from my side of the desk when I got to the final Gawain is so stupid . . .


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