John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

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Classics of American literature

Those of you with total recall of everything I've ever written will no doubt recognize the name Emma Blotz, a Helen of Troy impersonator who appeared in my list of obscure Superman characters back in July. Today, comics writer Tony Isabella takes a look back at Action Comics no. 133, the issue that featured the first (and last) appearance of Emma Blotz. So if you're at all curious about why someone would want to impersonate Helen of Troy, or are just interested in Golden Age comics in general, you might want to take a look.

On a somewhat more highbrow note, earlier this evening I read in tomthedog's blog that a film adaptation of Don DeLillo's novel White Noise will may be released in 2005. I read White Noise in college, and I liked it well enough (though I think it's one of those novels that's easier to admire than to like), so I'm tentatively looking forward to the movie. But the movie is beside the point.

As I've mentioned before, I went to Cornell College, a small liberal arts college in Iowa. Cornell, for some reason, likes to make a big deal about the campus being located atop a hill. (Why? I don't know. I mean, it's true, but so what?) Back in my day, the college liked to describe itself as "a little slice of New England on an Iowa hilltop." That particular phrase has fallen out of use, but a quick search of the Cornell website finds more than a hundred references to the campus as "the Hilltop."

Anyway, the point here is that when I was at Cornell, it was widely held that College-on-the-Hill, the college featured in White Noise, was patterned at least in part on Cornell. I don't know if it was, but I suppose it's possible. College-on-a-Hill and Cornell are both liberal arts colleges in small Midwestern towns, both are located on a hill, and both are known for their unusual academic programs (College-on-a-Hill's Department of Hitler Studies, Cornell's One-Course-At-A-Time). OK, that last one's a stretch. But who knows? It's not completely outside the realm of possibility. It just, you know, skirts the edge.

OK, that was pointless. But hey, if you haven't read White Noise, maybe you should. It's a modern American classic, you know.

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