Thursday 18 June 2015

currently reading: hocus pocus, or what’s the hurry, son?

in which Kurt Vonnegut, JR appears as a benignly unreliable narrator, the namesake of reformer and labour rights champion Eugene Debs, to blithely contemplate the End Times in the early twenty-first century—having written the book in the final decade of the twentieth, knowing that God is not big into numerology. The phrase hocus pocus, according to some sources, is a parody of the priest’s seeming magic trick of transubstantiation during mass. Hoc est corpus meum. The first English language work to address sleight of hand and prestidigitation, incidentally, was an anonymous publication in the early seventeenth century titled Hocus Pocus Junior—which might have been the stage-name of the author.