daily preciousness

Wednesday, February 14, 2001

walking with Andre

I was walking to work when I noticed a strange-looking man get out of a white Volvo at the crosswalk.

He had dark round spectacles and a tan overcoat. Immediately, I knew it was Andre Codrescue, poet laureate of the university and one of my favorite writers.

We had a nice chat about the dadaist game "exquisite corpse," from which the name of his blog is derived.

The game is actually called "le cadavre exquis boira le vin nouveau," or "the exquisite corpse drinks the young wine" and is named after the trial run of the game.

I told him about how I had heard his wonderful stories and commentaries on National Public Radio a dozen times before I went to his site. Then, only a week later, I happened to be at the Art Institute of Chicago where I saw some examples of the game by Max Ernst.

After that, I tried it myself with my family at our Thanksgiving gathering. The results were so hilarious that I had to post them to my diary. Great stuff. He told me that he adored the creative possibilities of playing the game with his fellow writers at parties. He said that it seemed like a great name for a collaborative journal of creative writing.

So I walk with him for a few minutes, then we realize that we're going to the same place, Hill Memorial Library, where his papers are. What a stroke of luck!

Finally, I walk him in and announce him to the front desk. How fortunate. He told me about his new novel coming out -- it sounds wonderful -- then we talked about how handy-dandy online journals are. They are such a great way to share intimate thoughts, he agreed.

Post script: I wonder what he would think if I told him that just a few years later, my misspelling of his name would lead Google to point people who spelled his name phonetically (with an "e" at the end) to this entry. By estimation, I've had about 744 visitors because of that little misspelling.


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