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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 Tales of Unrest by Joseph Conrad:

long grass that stood still before our lips; so great was our prudence, so faint was the murmur of our great longing. The time passed swiftly . . . and there were whispers amongst women--and our enemies watched--my brother was gloomy, and I began to think of killing and of a fierce death. . . . We are of a people who take what they want--like you whites. There is a time when a man should forget loyalty and respect. Might and authority are given to rulers, but to all men is given love and strength and courage. My brother said, 'You shall take her from their midst. We are two who are like one.' And I answered, 'Let it be soon, for I find no warmth in sunlight that does not shine upon her.' Our time came when the Ruler and all the great


Tales of Unrest
The second excerpt represents the element of Fire. It speaks of emotional influences and base passions, and is drawn from The Emerald City of Oz by L. Frank Baum:

generals. Very fierce and powerful they looked, so that even the Nome King and General Guph, who stood beside his master, seemed a bit fearful in the presence of their allies.

Now a still more formidable creature entered the cavern. It was the First and Foremost of the Phanfasms and he proudly sat down in King Roquat's own throne and demanded the right to lead his forces through the tunnel in advance of all the others. The First and Foremost now appeared to all eyes in his hairy skin and the bear's head. What his real form was even Roquat did not know.

Through the arches leading into the vast series of caverns that lay beyond the throne room of King Roquat could be seen ranks upon ranks


The Emerald City of Oz
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from The Village Rector by Honore de Balzac:

never read Moliere. Sauviat was not deterred by the lack of dowry; besides, a man of fifty can't make difficulties, not to speak of the fact that such a wife would save him the cost of a servant. He added nothing to the furniture of his bedroom where, from the day of his wedding to the day he left the house, twenty years later, there was never anything but a single four-post bed, with valance and curtains of green serge, a chest, a bureau, four chairs, a table, and a looking-glass, all collected from different localities. The chest contained in its upper section pewter plates, dishes, etc., each article dissimilar from the rest. The kitchen can be imagined from the bedroom.

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 The Economist by Xenophon:

philosophers.

[38] "He could not see an estate of the sort described but he must fall over head and ears in love with it at first sight; have it he must."

When I heard this, I could not resist asking a question; Ischomachus (I said), did your father retain possession of all the farms he put under cultivation, or did he part with them whenever he was offered a good price?

He parted with them, without a doubt (replied Ischomachus), but then at once he bought another in the place of what he sold, and in every case an untilled farm, in order to gratify his love for owrk.