Saturday, February 26, 2005


Pretension of Competency has moved to its own domain and continues to turn out excellent postings on various subjects. This is what is written about Terry Goodkind's Chainfire:

...This is, I believe, the penultimate book in this series as the book ends on the very edge of what is referred to throughout the story as “the final battle.” For those of you unfamiliar with the book and it’s author, it is the ninth in the series that is considered to be one of the three primary current unfinished fantasy series’, along with Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time and George R.R. Martin’s [A Song of Fire and Ice]. This particular series has a very Ayn Randian feel to it in it’s very open discussions of human morality and political issues, which is understandable since Goodkind claims Rand as one of his biggest influences. Unlike The Wheel of Time, which I also am a big fan of (I have not had the chance to pick up Martin’s series), Goodkind has maintained the focus of his later books and produces a fantastic story in Chainfire....

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Literary Terms and Definitions

L. Kip Wheeler has a nice site on Literary Terms and Definitions. The webpage contains clickable alphabetical lists of literary terms and their definitions from A to Z.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

The Da Vinci Code

The immense popularity of The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown goes once again to prove that the mass of men and women are children who are attracted by a good fairy tale well told.

We need here to clear up five main misconceptions about the Priory of Sion in that book:

1) The original Priory of Sion has existed since about 3000 BC;
2) The original Priory of Sion was not anti-Semitic, but was founded by the Jews;
3) The current Master of the Priory of Sion, the only one still in possession of all lost knowledge and parchments, just published a book called Stars Stones and Scholars, containing knowledge gleaned from the lost encrypted documents:
4) The original neolithic Priory of Sion has no other members, and all the rest who claim to be members are imposters;
5) The current Master of the Priory of Sion was designated by tradition to be the last Master of the original Priory of Sion. Past modern Masters in order of the passing of the torch were Lorenzo de Medici, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Giordano Bruno, Johannes Kepler, Galileo, Rabbi Naftali (ben Elchanan) Hertz, Rene Descartes, John Locke, Isaac Newton, Voltaire, Immanuel Kant, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, Napoleon I Bonaparte, Thomas Jefferson, Goethe, Abraham Lincoln, James Clerk Maxwell, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison, John Maynard Keynes, Albert Einstein, Winston Churchill, Pablo Picasso, and Ayn Rand. Only the present Master is in possession of that true list. The present Master is authorized by tradition and by the 5000-year old rules of the Order to now divulge all lost knowledge to save humanity from itself.

We hope therewith to have cleared up any misunderstandings created by the book.

Which all leads us to the conclusion that the best way to make money in publishing is to publish idle nonsense for the masses, whereas the surest road to literary poverty is to publish the truth. Here is what the Illuminati Quiz at Quizilla tells us (we knew it):

The Network. Fnord.
The Network:

You are the Voice of World Control.


Which Illuminati are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Bloggers and Journalists: Online Course on Literary Journalism

As a graduate of Stanford Law School, we alumni are still kept busy by the regular outflow of communications from Stanford. A recent posting to alumni contains a link to the AllLearn (Oxford, Stanford, Yale) Online Course on Literary Journalism written by Stanford Lecturer Tom Barbash, the very successful non-fiction author of On Top of the World.

As written there:

"Tom Barbash is the author of the New York Times bestselling nonfiction book, On Top of the World, the story of Cantor Fitzgerald, the bond firm that was massacred on September 11. He is also the author of the novel, The Last Good Chance, which was published in 2002, was awarded the California Book Award for best first work in fiction, and was a Publishers Weekly "Best Book of the Year." He currently teaches at Stanford, where he was Wallace Stegner Fellow, and at California College of the Arts. He was the recipient this year of a National Endowment of the Arts Grant in fiction."

Take a look at this course. It is a bit pricey if your bank account is low, but it may lead to your road to success.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Ayn Rand's 100th

Edward Rothstein at the Feb. 2, 2005 New York Times celebrates Ayn Rand's 100th.

The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) were definitely among the most influential books we read in college days, so we are glad to hear that Rand's books are still selling about 150,000 copies a year.

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