29 January 2006

Case in point

Allusion done well:
"I hate to disturb you when you're researching," Violet said, "but there was a note from Jerome [Squalor] on my pillow. Esmé is going to take us to Veblen Hall at ten-thirty sharp, and it's just past ten o'clock now. Is there any way we can help you?"

"I don't see how," Klaus said, his eyes looking worried behind his glasses. "There's only one copy of the catalog, and it's pretty complicated. Each of the items for the auction is called a lot, and the catalog lists each lot with a description and a guess at what the highest bid may be. I've read up to Lot #49, which is a valuable postage stamp."

"Well, Gunther can't hide the Quagmires [Isadora & Duncan] in a postage stamp," Violet said. "You can skip that lot."
J.D. Salinger, an economist, Thomas Pynchon, and a famous dancer all within two pages of each other--with quite a bit of "conspicuous consumption" thrown in for good measure. (I'm a sucker for this kind of thing.)

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