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Today's Stichomancy for Kurt Goedel

The first excerpt represents the element of Air. It speaks of mental influences and the process of thought, and is drawn from The Village Rector by Honore de Balzac:

with their pitchforks to fill the carts as they were driven along the rows. Others in the distance were still mowing, or turning the long lines of fallen grass to dry it, or hastening to pile it into cocks. The joyous laugh of the merry workers mingling with the shouts of the children tumbling each other in the hay, rose on the air. The eye could distinguish the pink, red, or blue petticoats, the kerchiefs, and the bare legs and arms of the women, all wearing broad-brimmed hats of a coarse straw, and the shirts and trousers of the men, the latter almost invariably white. The last rays of the sun were filtering through the long lines of poplars planted beside the trenches which divided the plain into meadows of unequal size, and

The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from Almayer's Folly by Joseph Conrad:

heads trembled and swayed for a long time in the moonlight before they rested motionless and gleaming, like a design of silver sprays embroidered on a sombre background.

Mrs. Almayer lighted the cocoanut lamp, and lifting cautiously the red curtain, gazed upon her husband, shading the light with her hand.

Almayer, huddled up in the chair, one of his arms hanging down, the other thrown across the lower part of his face as if to ward off an invisible enemy, his legs stretched straight out, slept heavily, unconscious of the unfriendly eyes that looked upon him in disparaging criticism. At his feet lay the overturned table,


Almayer's Folly
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath by H. P. Lovecraft:

had seen quaint lumbering buopoths come shyly out of that wood to drink, but now he could not glimpse any. Once in a while he paused to watch a carnivorous fish catch a fishing bird, which it lured to the water by showing its tempting scales in the sun, and grasped by the beak with its enormous mouth as the winged hunter sought to dart down upon it. Toward evening he mounted a low grassy rise and saw before him flaming in the sunset the thousand gilded spires of Thran. Lofty beyond belief are the alabaster walls of that incredible city, sloping inward toward the top and wrought in one solid piece by what means no man knows, for they


The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath
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 An Historical Mystery by Honore de Balzac:

of his kerseymere breeches and of his waistcoat, brought out vividly his pale and terrible Caesarian face. One hand was on a map which lay unfolded on his knees. Berthier stood near him in the brilliant uniform of the vice-constable of the Empire. Constant, the valet, was offering the Emperor his coffee from a tray.

"What do you want?" said Napoleon, with a show of roughness, darting his eye like a flash through Laurence's head. "You are no longer afraid to speak to me before the battle? What is it about?"

"Sire," she said, looking at him with as firm an eye, "I am Mademoiselle de Cinq-Cygne."

"Well?" he replied, in an angry voice, thinking her look braved him.