Thursday, April 28, 2011

What is John Pollack reading?

The current featured contributor at Writers Read: John Pollack, author of The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics.

His entry begins:
I recently read The Tree, by John Fowles, which explored the starkly different relationships that the author and his father enjoyed with the trees in their lives. The father, a struggling tobacconist in suburban London, cultivated domestic fruit trees whose productivity he tracked carefully from year to year. The younger Fowles preferred wild trees in natural settings, as their unkempt nature inspired his creativity. I enjoyed the book for its meandering and for its quiet demand that I open my dictionary from time to time.

Fowles closes the memoir with a hike he took to an isolated English forest called Wistman’s Wood, a place he’d not visited for 30 years. It was a windswept grove of stunted English Oaks – ancient and twisted, their branches...[read on]
Among the early praise for The Pun Also Rises:
“He tells us, with a clarity unusual for the subject, how the mind works...”
—P.J. O'Rourke, New York Times

The Pun Also Rises is a brief but compelling exegesis on what puns are and why they matter.”
Los Angeles Times

“The best books on language are the ones that encourage us to reexamine what we think we know, and The Pun Also Rises, a new book on “the lowest form of wit,” does exactly that.”
Boston Globe

“Whether you are a practicing punster, interested in language or just hungry to learn something on the beach this summer as you lie on the sand-which-is there... Pollack’s book is fun and informative.”
Detroit Free Press
Learn more about the book and author at the official The Pun Also Rises website.

John Pollack, who won the 1995 O. Henry Pun-Off World Championships, was a Presidential Speechwriter for Bill Clinton. Earlier, he worked as a foreign correspondent in Spain, as a field assistant in Antarctica, and as a strolling violinist on Mackinac Island.

The Page 99 Test: The Pun Also Rises.

Writers Read: John Pollack.

--Marshal Zeringue