By John Hertz: I’m no citizen of Electronicland, but I try to look now and then.
I see I needn’t remark that George Orwell (Pixel Scroll 3 Oct 16, No. 9; Jack Lint, 4 Oct at 11:29 a.m.) seems to have gotten Chinese tea as Number Ten Ox warned the rest of us in that great year 1984.
And it’s already been observed that Randall Garrett’s Lord Darcy stories, “The Eyes Have It” (Jan 64) and thereafter, a quarter-century later than “The Mathematics of Magic” (de Camp & Pratt, Aug 40) and “Magic, Inc.” (Heinlein, Sep 40) on which we were just voting for the 1941 Retrospective Hugos (MidAmeriCon II, 74th World Science Fiction Convention), could only have been a tribute from a true knight.
But the talk of tea, and Nate Fillion’s swell photo and caption (P.S. 2 Oct 16, No. 11 – P.S., I love you) of which we can’t have one without the other, called from memory a comment of mine to John DeChancie in Vanamonde 1040 a while ago, which our gracious host thought you might like.
The Gremlin automobile by American Motors, only produced 1970-1978, is considered collectible. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush each drove one. You if needing to contest the point with Phil Foglio could withstand an argument that Gremlins do not exist. A kremlin is a fortress or citadel; the famous one in Moscow (having like “the White House” become specific) in fact contains five palaces, although Communism disavowed private luxury. Through 30 Jun 13 the State Historical Museum, together with the Kremlin museums, is holding an exhibit commemorating the 400th ascension anniversary of Tsar Michael. The Russian love of tea, so characteristic now, dates only to the 19th Century, Van 755 (brackets as there):
You remind me of the story Joyce Toomre tells [p. 17 of Classic Russian Cooking, her 1992 ed’n of Elena Molokhovets, A Gift to Young Housewives: famous “from the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 to the onset of the Bolshevik revolution in 1917” (p. 3), the author’s name a household word, parodied by Chekhov, lampooned by Soviets, reprints appearing promptly when the U.S.S.R. fell], that when tea came to Russia it caught on slowly, puzzling lords and peasants, so that in one song “an unlucky house serf … ordered to prepare tea … not knowing what to do with the leaves, seasoned the brew with peppers, onion, and parsley, the traditional Russian seasonings. When he was abused for his concoction, he decided it was because he forgot the salt.”
Georg Hegel (1770-1831), beloved of Communists, was contemporary with the pioneering Romanticist August Schlegel (1767-1845), translator of Shakespeare into German, who I hear was noted at the Int’l Conf. on Shakespeare in National Cultures, Moscow, 9-13 Jul 12; busts, statues, being displayed, books preserved. You know Nabokov’s 1923 translation of Alice in Wonderland (L. Carroll, 1865; the famous tea-party is ch. VII); Communists, stung by his satire (“a central core of spirit in me … flashes and jeers at the brutal farce of totalitarian states, such as Russia, and her embarrassing tumors, such as China”, en passant taking the clown suit in which the interviewer tried to clothe him and placing it elegantly onto the fitful offeror, not to mention — oops, too late — the wanted-to-blame-but-forced-to-praise review of King, Queen, Knave; New York Times 12 May 68, Sect. 7 p. 1), suppressed his writings and sought to ruin his reputation. So I quite understand your report that the Gremlin from the Kremlin had the Hegel and the Schlegel, while the Alice from the palace, once holding the pellet with the poison, had the brew which was true.