Tag Archives: Kit Williams

Hare ye, hare ye

Some months ago I blogged about the Welsh artist Kit Williams and his 1979 storybook cum puzzle, Masquerade. This book, which contained clues to the whereabouts of an ornate golden hare buried somewhere in the British Isles, triggered an international craze that, sad to say, ended badly for all concerned. BBC Radio 4 has an excellent half-hour documentary on the book, Williams, and the storm he unleased available for listening on its site. It will be taken down in seven days, so set aside some quality time.

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Friday finds


Thirty years ago, Welsh artist Kit Williams published Masquerade, a beautifully illustrated children’s book in which the paintings concealed clues to the location of a golden hare pendant Williams had buried somewhere in the British Isles. The search masqueradefor the golden hare became an international craze, but when somebody did finally bag the pendant two years later, it turned out to be a cheat — instead of solving the riddle, the winner had used inside information provided by an ex-girlfriend of Williams. (The hare was last seen being auctioned by Sotheby’s to an undisclosed buyer.) Williams, whose life had been turned upside down by the obsessive interest of some fans, swore off any further treasure hunts, but four gardens in the Cotswolds are staging an equally elaborate hunt in honor of the 30th anniversary of Masquerade.     

You have until Monday to download your free audio file of actor John Lithgow reading from Who Is Mark Twain, a new collection of unpublished essays culled from Twain’s papers.

Attention writers! Here are some sure-fire ways to get your work rejected!

How about a relaxing trip to Robinson Crusoe Island? It looks pretty nice, actually.

J.D. Rhoades makes the Furr fly. Lance Mannion wonders what the hell is wrong with the conservative claque on the Supreme Court

Bob Dylan says he could write a song like “Superstition” but not one like “Sir Duke.” He also says Alicia Keys and Neil Young are archetypes. whether they realize it or not.

Howard the Duck (the character, not the legendarily awful movie) endures yet another indignity.

Science fiction grandmaster Frederik Pohl reminisces about his friend and (for a time) collaborator, Cyril M. Kornbluth: “He owned a cmkornbluthbook, written by one of his high-school teachers, I think, which gave the rules for composing every kind of verse I ever heard of. Cyril and I studied the book and resolved to write one of each. We made a good start, actually writing a haiku (we spelled it “hokku”), a villanelle, a sestina, two sonnets (one Petrarchan and one Shakespearean) and I think a couple of others. We bogged down when we came to the chant royal (the chant royal is HARD) and, like most of the other Futurians, we decided to try our luck with science fiction.”

The poet and the paintings.

Time to get cracking on your cigar box ukulele. Just follow these instructions.

Here’s your chance to vote on the worst media moments of President Obama’s first 100 days in office. Results will be announced Wednesday.

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Friday finds

Caustic Cover Critic offers a beautiful roundup of Geoff Grandfield’s noir cover designs and illustrations for various editions of Graham Greene’s “entertainments” and other books. Personally, I think the black and white interior illustrations (such as the one above, which I assume is from The Power and the Glory) are the best of the bunch. Grandfield’s work on these Raymond Chandler special editions is also nothing to sneeze at.     

Show of hands, please. How many people remember Welsh artist Kit Williams and his Masquerade challenge? For some reason, the Great Minneapolis Octopus Hunt reminded me of the search for the golden hare. 

The perfect vacation destination for the typographer in your family.

Michael Swanwick’s post about the power of words has gotten me re-reading Samuel R. Delany’s short stories. Which goes to prove his point.

Liz and Dick, Kurt and Courtney, Brad and Angelina . . . Sylvia and Ted?

Apparently the Federation of Light did not make its scheduled appearance in the skies. Wow . . . didn’t see that one not coming. (Maybe this was the Federation that Blossom Goodchild had in mind.) Anyway, we all know that flying saucers came here a few decades ago.

The news that Paul Krugman had won the Nobel Prize in economics had heads exploding the length and breadth of right-wing punditry and blogitry. Here’s your chance to pick the winner from “the five most impressive spontaneous human combustions” tracked in the wingersphere.  

An international team is preparing to study the Gamburtsevs, a puzzling mountain range buried deep beneath the Antarctic ice. “You can almost think about it as exploring another planet – but on Earth,” said Dr Fausto Ferraccioli from the British Antarctic Survey. “This region is a complete enigma. It’s in the middle of the continent. Most mountain ranges are on the edges of continents, and we really can’t understand what these mountains are doing in the centre.” I can think of at least one explanation.

Now that music writer Alex Ross has won a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, you’ll want to listen to excerpts from some of the music he describes in his book The Rest Is Noise

What is generative music? And why am I not surprised that Brian Eno is involved with it? The Guardian article is worth reading simply for the news that when Music for Airports, Eno’s first collection of ambient music, was finally played in an airport, “people complained of nameless, gnawing anxieties – not what one needs moments before boarding an aeroplane.”

From the Roman Empire to the steps of a bankrupt Icelandic bank — follow the verbs.

What would you rather do: Attend a Baltimore City Language Arts professional development session, or get poked in the eye with a flaming stick? You want some time to think it over? I understand.

There have been two recent films based on the poem Beowulf. The good professor reviews the one you ought to see.

In memoriam, Neal Hefti: composer of television themes that, once heard, cannot be forgotten.

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