Remnants of an Autobiography by Charles Hoy Fort
Extracts from Wild Talents
From the Start of Chapter 3
In days of yore, when I was an especially bad young one, my punishment was having to go to the store, Saturdays, and work. I had to scrape off labels of other dealers' canned goods, and paste on my parent's label. Theoretically, I was so forced to labor to teach me the errors of deceitful ways. A good many brats are brought up, in the straight and narrow, somewhat deviously.
One time I had pyramids of canned goods, containing a variety of fruits and vegetables. But I had used all except peach labels. I pasted peach labels on peach cans, and then came to apricots. Well, aren't apricots peaches? And there are plums that are virtually apricots. I went on, either mischievously, or scientifically, pasting the peach labels on cans of plums, cherries, string beans, and succotash. I can't quite define my motive, because to this day it has not been decided whether I am a humorist or a scientist. I think that it was mischief, but, as we go along, there will come a more respectful recognition that also it was scientific procedure.
From the Start of Chapter 4
Not a bottle of catsup can fall from a tenement-house fire-escape, in Harlem, without being noted — not only by the indignant people downstairs, but — even though infinitesimally — universally — maybe —
Affecting the price of pajamas, in Jersey City: the temper of somebody's mother-in-law, in Greenland; the demand, in China, for rhinoceros horns for the cure of rheumatism — maybe —
Because all things are inter-related — continuous — of an underlying oneness —
So then the underlying logic of the boy — who was guilty of much, but was at least innocent of ever having heard of a syllogism — who pasted a peach label on a can of string beans.
All things are so inter-related that, though the difference between
a fruit and what is commonly called a vegetable seems obvious, there is
no defining either. A tomato, for instance, represents the merging-point.
Which is it — fruit or vegetable?
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