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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Vonnegut

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from Youth by Joseph Conrad:

The man up there raged aloud in two languages, and with a sincerity in his fury that almost convinced me I had, in some way, sinned against the harmony of the universe. I could hardly see him, but began to think he would work himself into a fit.

"Suddenly he ceased, and I could hear him snorting and blowing like a porpoise. I said--

"'What steamer is this, pray?'

"'Eh? What's this? And who are you?'

"'Castaway crew of an English bark burnt at sea. We came here to-night. I am the second mate. The

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Statesman by Plato:


YOUNG SOCRATES: I do not recall what you mean at the moment.

STRANGER: They say that if any one knows how the ancient laws may be improved, he must first persuade his own State of the improvement, and then he may legislate, but not otherwise.

YOUNG SOCRATES: And are they not right?

STRANGER: I dare say. But supposing that he does use some gentle violence for their good, what is this violence to be called? Or rather, before you answer, let me ask the same question in reference to our previous instances.

YOUNG SOCRATES: What do you mean?

The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Jerusalem Delivered by Torquato Tasso:

But now of victory the joyful sound The king and Raymond heard amid their fray; And by the shout they and their soldiers know, The town was entered on the plain below.

CIV Which heard, Raymondo thus bespake this crew, "The town is won, my friends, and doth it yet Resist? are we kept out still by these few? Shall we no share in this high conquest get?" But from that part the king at last withdrew, He strove in vain their entrance there to let,

The fourth excerpt represents the element of Earth. It speaks of physical influences and the impact of the unseen on the visible world, and is drawn from Bucky O'Connor by William MacLeod Raine:

His wife hates me too, but they have to have me in the show."

"Then I guess you had better quit their company. What's your name?"

"Frank Hardman. On the show bills I have all sorts of names."

"Well, Frank, how would you like to go to live on a ranch?"

"Where he wouldn't know I was?" whispered the boy eagerly.

"If you like. I know a ranch where you'd be right welcome."

"I would work. I would do anything I could. Really, I would try to pay my way, and I don't eat much," Frank cried, his eyes as appealing as a homeless puppy's.

Bucky smiled. "I expect they can stand all you eat without going