The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy
The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy
🎧 236: Dedication and Epigraphs

🎧 236: Dedication and Epigraphs

Herb ’n’ Lorna, the Preface begins, read by the author (with a guest appearance by Fats Waller)


For Bill ’n’ Edna


     The idea that one has long held of a person is apt to stop one’s eyes and ears; my mother, for three whole years, had no more noticed the salve with which one of her nieces used to paint her lips than if it had wholly and invisibly dissolved in some clear liquid; until one day a streak too much, or possibly something else, brought about the phenomenon known as supersaturation; all the paint that hitherto passed unperceived was now crystallized, and my mother, in the face of this sudden riot of colour, declared, in the best Combray manner, that it was a perfect scandal.

Marcel Proust, Remembrance of Things Past, “Within a Budding Grove,” (translated by C. K. Scott Moncrieff)

One never knows, do one?

Fats Waller

     Venn diagrams, named for the English logician John Venn, who devised them in 1880, depict graphically the relationships defined by logical statements about classes of things and, in the words with which the great Polish-American metamathematician Alfred Tarski began his discussion of operations on classes in his Introduction to Logic and to the Methodology of the Deductive Sciences, “certain operations which, if performed on given classes, yield new classes.”  Over the years, it has occurred to me that a similar kind of diagram, the Dorset Diagram if I may be permitted to call it that, can be used to depict the relationships that certain operations establish between people; specifically, the Venn diagram that depicts the product of the multiplication (in the logical sense) of two classes can be used to depict the product of that complex operation (or, to be more accurate, set of operations) that we call love, operations that join two people, bind them, link them. The linking image is particularly nice, I think, because the diagram resembles two linked rings. . . .
     Over the years some lovers’ circles become so overlapped that only the thinnest crescents of lunes remain at the outer edges . . . they fill the lens of love so full, . . . become so completely a couple that they belong together in that strong way we acknowledge in things by joining them in speech with ’n’ instead of and, as if the attraction between the things joined was so strong, so magnetic, that they had rushed together, crushing their conjunction between them, collapsing it at both ends: flotsam ’n’ jetsam, Scotch ’n’ soda, ham ’n’ swiss, ham ’n’ eggs, macaroni ’n’ cheese, thunder ’n’ lightning, cares ’n’ woes, death ’n’ taxes, life ’n’ times, time ’n’ tide, stuff ’n’ nonsense, rock ’n’ roll, Laurel ’n’ Hardy, Mutt ’n’ Jeff, mom ’n’ pop, Herb ’n’ Lorna.

Mark Dorset, “The Dorset Diagram and How to Use It” (reprinted in Sociology Made Visible)

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The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy
The Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy
The entire Personal History, Adventures, Experiences & Observations of Peter Leroy, read by the author. "A masterpiece of American humor." Los Angeles Times