Monday, April 1, 2024



The Headless Horseman is of course an image perpetrated by Washington Irving, but headlessness or headiness is the stuff of dreams. "Off with their heads," says the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland. "Head counts" are a mundane matter and there's the expression he or she is running around "like a chicken with its head cut off." If you attend the old Essex Street market on the Lower East Side, you will literally see chickens running around with their heads cut off--which brings to mind the famous now discredited anecdote about Lavoisier shaking his tongue at his executioner after being guillotined. They "lost their heads" is another expression which is actually quite telling (along with "giving head"). The meaning refers to someone getting "mad as a hatter," but it's actually quite odd. Who or what would a person be mad at, if they had lost the executive functions of the brain?

Listen to Joan Baum's review of The Kafka Studies Department by Francis Levy on NPR

and read Mark Segal on Hallie Cohen's "Mi Ricordo: Roman Watercolors" show in The East Hampton Star

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