Secret messages

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Today's SMBC:

Mouseover text: "Fun fact: In the middle of every Derrida book, there are nuclear launch codes, the recipe for Coca Cola, and the location of Blackbeard's gold."

The aftercomic:


  1. Emily said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 10:07 am

    Something similar is a plot point in A Series of Unfortunate Events— there's an incredibly boring book written as a means of hiding secret messages. In the middle of an unnecessary prolix and repetitive chapter about someone looking through his kitchen cupboards, the narrative is interrupted by a note along the lines of "insert your secret document here."

  2. MattF said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 12:54 pm

    Note that 1,2,3,5,8 are Fibonacci numbers.

  3. James said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 1:43 pm

    Indeed, and add the number of the month to get:
    1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8
    the Fibonacci sequence…

  4. Pflaumbaum said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 3:37 pm

    Mooning the reader actually doesn't go far enough. One of the repeated figures for the author in FW is a squid, simultaneously concealing and revealing themselves with ink/shit.

  5. ardj said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 4:04 pm

    From a slightly different perspective: When I was at school, the prize poem one year was a piece of somewhat laboured vers libre, with notes (this was nearly 40 years after the Waste Land, but what the hell), and it made considerable play (referenced) with the invalid waiting for dawn and other people to arrive. A little later, I joined the Modern Languages A-level stream for some reason ( even living in France, I still speak the language very badly), and found "A la recherche du temps perdu", in a fine old paperbound edition (the only copy), in the Modern Languages library. So I took it out and read it, as best I could. After page 42 it was still uncut.

  6. David Marjanović said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 5:19 pm

    Squid ink isn't shit, it's melanin.

    Dwarf sperm whales are the one that cloud themselves in shit.

  7. richardelguru said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 6:38 pm

    David, but do dwarf shit whales cloud themselves with sperm?

  8. AG said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 7:41 pm

    I follow bots on Twitter that send out Finnegans Wake and Ulysses one tweet at a time ( and )…

    …and my main realization has been that the censors were right – Ulysses is depraved. I think most readers just never get far enough to realize it. Just yesterday scenes like the insane transsexual domination one kept showing up in my feed, which were a bit disconcerting out of context (the context usually being that I'm patting myself on the back for having read Ulysses up until that point and so will accept any nonsense as great literature):

    "(He sniffs) Woman. BELLO: (Stands up) No more blow hot and cold. What you longed for has come to pass. Henceforth you are unmanned and mine in earnest, a thing under the yoke."

  9. Helena Constantine said,

    February 8, 2018 @ 10:34 pm

    Squid ink isn't melanin; it's sepia.

  10. Ellen K. said,

    February 9, 2018 @ 10:48 am

    Sepia contains melanin. And sepia is cuttlefish ink, not squid ink. According to the information I find on the internet.

  11. Victor Mair said,

    February 9, 2018 @ 3:44 pm

    From Jichang Lulu:

    Shockingly, @AG's Finnegans-tweeting account has just revealed that Joyce had predicted the emergence of Xi-ism:

    What is your numb? Bun!
    Who gave you that numb? Poo!

    (Xi Jinping's manifestations as Winnie the Pooh and the Bun (or its core) have been covered on Language Log.)

  12. Michele said,

    February 9, 2018 @ 7:30 pm

    Commenting only so I can check the "Notify me of new posts by email" box because I couldn't find a way to subscribe to the blog on the home page. (Am I blind? Did I just miss it??)

    [(myl) The RSS and Atom feeds might be what you want (right side of the page):


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