The subconscious syntax of Michæl Chabon’s hair

Michæl Chabon can’t keep it up — that wisp of hair that seems to always hang on his forehead all the time. At first glance, one sees a random tuft from a man perhaps too deep in thought to use a comb more than once a day; but I started noticing that these locks made grammatical marks, as if to suggest “don’t just read my book, read my face.” I once went to a Chabon reading at the public library. He called the organizers from his cell phone minutes before the event claiming public transit was crazy. “More fountain water for me,” I thought.

The following is a list of the subconscious syntax of Michæl Chabon’s hair, including excerpts which illustrate said grammatical functions.

1. The Apostrophe


Chabon is not in the business of the avante garde, so there will be no mind blowing today, just a pretty legit use of apostrophes. From The Amazing Adventures of Kavelier & Clay, which won the Pulitzer in 2001:

As soon as the German army occupied Prague, talk began, in certain quarters, of sending the city’s famous Golem, Rabbi Loew’s miraculous automaton, into the safety of exile.

That was a pretty nice use of two apostrophes, both as possessive ones. I tried to find apostrophes used as contractions, but couldn’t, so I’ll put some of my own. I have a feeling maybe good writers aren’t supposed to use contractions. Ain’t that shit.


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September 8th, 2009 / 2:30 pm