June 24th, 2011

owl i gave was me



how often, do you think, can you come up with a search term on google which will bring up precisely one result? i just did that. (mind you, google omitted 2 duplicates).

because it's nearly impossible to invent anything anymore, someone's already posted the portmanteau of coincidence and intent that i'm intending to coin, but it's not quite clear to me from that writer's context whether they intend the same denotation.

my given denotation is: the motivating force behind an apparently strange coincidence, typically unknown, or merely suspected, but capable of being revealed.

cf. the great gatsby

nick carraway: "it was a strange coincidence."
jordan baker: "but it wasn't a coincidence at all."
nc: "why not?"
jb: "gatsby bought the house so that daisy would be just across the bay."

'then it had not been merely the stars to which he had aspired on that june night. he came alive to me, delivered suddenly from the womb of his purposeless splendor.'

the word seemed to me to be called for because life is so coincintense that it's hard believe it's not largely due to coincintents.

a second sense would be: the intention to disguise one's purpose by engineering what appears to be a random consequence. ("funny meeting you here!")

cf. the great gatsby

jb: "i think he half expected her to wander into one of his parties, some night, but she never did. then he began asking people casually if they knew her, and i was the first one he found. it was that night he sent for me at his dance, and you should have heard the elaborate way he worked up to it."

the entry itself being prompted by the fact that i don't think it mere coincidence that wednesday when i finally came home from my hometown, i'd forgotten i'd left all of the books i'm currently reading along with all of the books i'd just purchased at my favorite hometown used bookstore, with ophelia, and so, having already decided to take a bath, pulled the great gatsby randomly from the shelf, which i'd never finished rereading -- the last time i'd read out of it was also in the bath, at a hotel in boston in june of last year, before i'd switched over to books newly purchased there, in brief spurts amid much time spent nose-out-of-book. nor that thursday night my friends insisted on watching the adjustment bureau after a night out on the town, even though it was after one, and we could've easily called it a night then (if you've seen the movie you might see the slight connection between the two works, and of course, the large connection to coincidences). nor that it was raining something proper when i walked out to my car at a quarter of three. nor that earlier in the evening, friend m. had insisted we all get absinthe drinks (since i'd normally be the advocate for that) and that all joined in. (we ended up getting flaming shots of absinthe with tuaca.)

lying in my copy of gatsby for those twelve months was my snow owl bookmark which i've had since 1993 or 1994, and which is one of my icons here.

my copy of gatsby is a 1953 trade paperback which belonged to one of my mother's younger sisters in high school. her name is inscribed, in cursive, in the title page, and there are some of her notes, both in cursive and that half-cursive some people fall into, and there are many words she'd looked up the meaning for and annotated with synonyms or brief definitions. how it then ended up in my mother's possession, i don't know. i made many of my parents' books my own in high school, books that had been kept for no particular reason except that one keeps things.

of course this new term doesn't apply to authorial coincidences, the intent behind which is blatant.
cf. the great gatsby (SPOILERS!)

gatsby's car kills tom's mistress (of all people) on the very same night that gatsby makes his revelation to tom (of all nights). tidy. but we forgive these economies of storytelling, or tolerate them, when we're feeling tolerant.
daft as jack

samuel johnson justifies my lottery ticket purchase

there is, indeed, so little certainty in human affairs, that the most cautious and severe examiner may be allowed to indulge some hopes which he cannot prove to be much favoured by probability; since, after his utmost endeavours to ascertain events, he must often leave the issue in the hands of chance. and so scanty is our present allowance of happiness, that in many situations life could scarcely be supported, if hope were not allowed to relieve the present hour by pleasures borrowed from futurity; and reanimate the languor of dejection to new efforts, by pointing to distant regions of felicity, which yet no resolution or perseverance shall ever reach.
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