Literary Meme-O-Gram: Either vs. Or

Sometimes it’s fun to pick favorites out of arbitrary groupings. (No really, it is.) As such, I’ve made a list of 20 either/or statements (that are at least marginally literary), with the intention of seeing what your choices are. And that’s all you have to do — pick one thing out of each set. No need to explain your choices, just choose. In the end, I will of course take this data with me into the LitKicks Laboratory and chart it on a graph. Really. I will.

Anyway, without further ado, I present today’s lineup:

1. Libraries vs. Bookstores:

2. Pens vs. Pencils

3. Handwritten vs. Typed

4. Sticking head in oven vs. Shooting self in head

5. Ending a sentence with a preposition vs. Splitting an infinitive

6. Reading to self vs. Going to a poetry reading

7. Sonnets vs. Villanelles

8. Truth vs. Fiction

9. Poetry vs. Prose

10. Novels vs. Short Stories

11. Online vs. Print

12. The Odyssey vs. On The Road

13. Frankenstein vs. Dracula

14. Barbaric yawp vs. Howl

15. William Faulkner vs. Mark Twain

16. William Shakespeare vs. William Blake

17. Milton from Office Space vs. John Milton

18. Henry James vs. Henry David Thoreau

19. Walt Whitman vs. Grizzly Adams

20. Chuck Palahniuk vs. Irvine Welsh

22 Responses

  1. okay …?1. bookstores2.
    okay …?

    1. bookstores
    2. pens
    3. typed
    4. shooting
    5. ending with a preposition (because I know what that means)
    6. going to poetry reading
    7. sonnets
    8. fiction
    9. poetry
    10. novels
    11. online!
    12. on the road
    13. frankenstein
    14. howl
    15. twain
    16. shakespeare
    17. milton from office space
    18. you’re killing me! both. i can’t choose between these two.
    19. walt whitman
    20. chuck

  2. my picks1. bookstores2.
    my picks

    1. bookstores
    2. pens
    3. correspondence: handwritten. everything else: typed
    4. shooting
    5. splitting an infinitive
    6. going to a reading
    7. villanelles
    8. fiction
    9. prose
    10. short stories
    11. online
    12. on the road
    13. frankenstein
    14. howl
    15. faulkner
    16. blake
    17. office space all the way
    18. HENRY JAMES!!! (someone had to say it)
    19. whitman
    20. neither. tee hee.

  3. Come on, Asher. I know you
    Come on, Asher. I know you wanted to say “HENRY JAMES!!!” but it’s okay, because I did.

  4. Where’s the Beef?1.
    Where’s the Beef?

    1. Libraries

    2. Pencils

    3. Typed

    4. Sticking head in oven

    5. Ending a sentence with a preposition

    6. Going to a poetry reading

    7. Sonnets

    8. Truth

    9. Poetry

    10. Short Stories

    11. Online

    12. The Odyssey

    13. Dracula

    14. no

    15. William Faulkner

    16. William Robert Blake

    17. Milton

    18. Henry David Thoreau

    19. Grizzly Adams

    20. Irvine

  5. i wish i said
    i wish i said libraries

    to self
    the odyssey
    john milton

    hardest ?: Adams/Whitman. Adams was just so damn salty!

  6. p.s. to split an infinitive
    p.s. to split an infinitive is the opposite of to not split an infinitive.

  7. easy onebookstores pencil
    easy one

    bookstores pencil typed
    oven split self
    sonnets fiction poetry
    short stories print on the road
    frankenstien howl twain
    blake ? thoreau

  8. I know you will find it
    I know you will find it incredible that I do not worship Henry James above all, but I could not pick anyone over Thoreau. You could throw Melville and Kerouac in too, and I’d still pick Thoreau. He is, like, one of my top five people of all time. Including real people.

    But, to avoid hurting Henry James’s feelings, I will pass on #18.

  9. Sith Happens1. Bookstores:2.
    Sith Happens

    1. Bookstores:

    2. Pens

    3. Handwritten

    4. Shooting self in head

    5. Ending a sentence with a preposition

    6. Reading to self

    7. Sonnets

    8. Fiction

    9. Poetry

    10. Novels

    11. Print

    12. On The Road

    13. Dracula

    14. Howl

    15. Mark Twain

    16. William Shakespeare

    17. Milton from Office Space

    18. Henry David Thoreau

    19. Walt Whitman


  10. DratMoved to respond to

    Moved to respond to this.

    1) Bookstores (more up to date selections, at least in my town. Plus the bookstore owner always sneaks me info on the latest and cheap lit news)
    2)pens (only use pencils for math class, which, don’t have to take anymore)
    3)typed (cause I have ‘orrible hadwriting)
    4) wuh?
    5)I try to avoid grammar at all costs but infinitives, we used those in Spanish
    6) reading to self
    7) sonnets (I’m French and I don’t know what villaneles are!)
    8)truth (because we end up sneaking the truth into fiction, anyway)
    10) short stories (lately)
    11)this is a trick question!
    12)On the Road (because I wasn’t forced to read it in school, rather read it in spite of school)
    13) Dracula (Gary Oldman version)
    14) Howl (duh)
    15)Mark Twain (he’s Southern and I can relate)
    16) Shakespeare
    17)Office Space Milton
    18) Thoreau (lucky bastard)
    19) Grizzly Adams (he had a cool sidekick!)

  11. answers1- bookstores2-

    1- bookstores
    2- pencils
    3- handwritten
    4- sticking head in oven
    5- splitting an infinitive
    6- reading to self
    7- ?
    8- both
    9- consciously, poetry
    10- novels
    11- print
    12- both
    13- dr

  12. okay…1) Bookstores2) Pens3)

    1) Bookstores
    2) Pens
    3) Typed
    4) Shooting self in head
    5) Ending with a preposition
    6) Reading to self (incidentally this is the title of my first novel)
    7) Villanelles
    8) Truth
    9) Prose
    10) Novels
    11) Print
    12) On The Road
    13) Frankenstein
    14) Barbaric yap
    15) Faulkner
    16) Shakespeare
    17) You took my stapler
    18) Thoreau
    19) Whitman
    20) Welsh

  13. Hmmmm…1. Bookstores (‘Cause

    1. Bookstores (‘Cause I can pick up chicks the same time I pick up books)
    3.Handwritten (something organic about it)
    4.Head in oven (I can always change my mind)
    5.Both and Neither
    6.Both at same time
    7.Sonnets – I think
    8.Aren’t they the same?
    9.Poetic prose
    10.Novels made up of short stories
    11.Print – definitely!
    12.On the Road
    14.I better put Howl or I’ll get kicked off the site
    15.Samuel Clemens
    17.M-M-M-Milton from Office Space – who wouldn’t pick him?
    19.Grizzly Adams – loved that theme song. Plus I have a friend whose name is Dan Haggerty believe it or not.
    20. Neither

  14. Is There A Lab Fee?1.
    Is There A Lab Fee?

    1. Libraries where you never return the book, so then you have to pay for it, and the library orders a new one from a bookstore.

    2. Pens

    3. Typed. Word processed & printed, actually.

    4. Oven, but really a car exhaust is more likely to be available because a lot of ovens are not gas. All this business about doctor-assisted suicide is silly because if a person has a car, they don’t need a doctor’s help. But if you are highly impressionable or unstable, do not read this.

    5. I’m just a simple butler, as Anthony Hopkins said. I’m afraid I can’t be of assistance to you on that matter.

    6. Poetry reading where all ten participants are reading to themselves.

    7. Neopolitan has all three.


    9. Prose

    10. The short story is coming back in a big way. Don’t miss out on this hip trend. Billectric.

    11. Print with the occasional blue underlined word, so you think you can click on it, but it’s printed, see, so you can’t! Oh, man.

    12. Is that then one with the cyclops? Because I was going to say “On the Road” but…I don’t know…a cyclops…

    13. Frankenstein.

    14. Whatever that noise is that Boris Karloff made as Frankenstein’s Monster.

    15. Frankenstein

    16. Well, Blake was found not guilty of killing his wife, and he was good in Beretta.

    17. “That body is not dead! I created it…with bodies I obtained from graves, from the gallows, anywhere!

    18. Henry Frankenstein

    19. I vote for their unholy cloned offspring, Scootertrash, from the picture on the back of Action Poetry.

    20. Fight Club was on TV last night. Chuck is a good man.

  15. my answers1.Libraries2.
    my answers

    2. Pens
    3. Handwritten (at first, they call it writing)
    4. Taking the bullet
    5. end in preposition-Always!
    6.Poetry reading
    8. Fiction is truth
    10. Like both
    11. Print-Still a little old fashioned
    12-On The Road
    16.Shake the spear
    17.Milton from Office Space
    19. Whitman
    20.Can’t pick chuck too popular an answer & don’t know the other guy.

    That was harder than I thought, are they the right answers?

  16. You go, FC, with the Robert
    You go, FC, with the Robert Blake type answer. And what about those Pink Panther movies?

  17. Now, there’s a man who knows
    Now, there’s a man who knows what he likes.

  18. a worthy
    a worthy survey

    sticking head in oven
    splitting an infinitive
    poetry reading
    fiction that tells truth
    the road
    milton from office space

  19. Either/Or: an existential
    Either/Or: an existential choice

    1. bookstores–the transgression of reading unbought books

    2. pens–specifically fountain pens that scratch so you feel the writing

    3. handwritten–for the above reason

    4. shooting self in head–the boom of it

    5. ending with a prepostion–who can avoid it

    6. poetry reading–the dynamics of apprehension

    7. sonnets–the volta and complexity

    8. truth–it is stranger than fiction

    9. poetry–it is stranger than prose

    10. short stories–condensation

    11.print–the materiality factor

    12. Odyssey–know ancient greek

    13. Frankenstein–more feminist

    14. Faulkner–complexity

    15. tie, Blake in my youth, Shakespeare in middle age

    16. Howl–the best minds of my generation

    17. John Milton–master of language (and the Milton of William Blake)

    18. Thoreau–master of prose style and independent thinker

    19.Whitman–barbaric yawlp

    20. undecided

  20. Well if we’re going to be
    Well if we’re going to be Western –

    1. Libraries. I haven’t worked in four years.:)
    2. Pens. -need less holder.
    3. Concepting: MS. Drafting: type.
    4. Sticking head in oven – provided the oven’s modified to give out helium or nitrous oxide (I’m killing myself – I can afford to borrow the cash:)). – Guns’re *notoriously* tricky auto-aimed.
    5. It’d vary. Whichever’d be syntactically wildest. Tho’ in the indoctrinated gut of me I hate both.
    6. Self. Self self self self self:).
    7. Villanelles. Just to make Shakespeare less of a critical reference.:)
    8. They’re only plastically different.
    9. Prose. Because I don’t trust art.
    10. Novels. Because I don’t trust art.
    11. Online. Even uncreative labour becomes – and necessarily! – materially subversive.
    12. *The Odyssey*. It wrecked the author-function thousands of years before Foucault.
    13. Dracula. Tho’ not for height.
    14. Barbaric yawp. Intellectualised – *as* say Hughes – it lets fake blowup away w/ less. – Prepsychedelia. Bah.:)
    15. Faulkner.
    16. Blake. Because I don’t trust art.:)
    17. John Milton. For the Satanism.
    18. James. Because in dying he islanded Pound into becoming the great index of modernism’s fascism.
    19. Huh?:)
    20. I. I hate them both equally.

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