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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 Paradise Lost by John Milton:

Hereafter; when they come to model Heaven And calculate the stars, how they will wield The mighty frame; how build, unbuild, contrive To save appearances; how gird the sphere With centrick and eccentrick scribbled o'er, Cycle and epicycle, orb in orb: Already by thy reasoning this I guess, Who art to lead thy offspring, and supposest That bodies bright and greater should not serve The less not bright, nor Heaven such journeys run, Earth sitting still, when she alone receives


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

feeling; they were proud of successes at the Olympic games; they were not devoid of the love of literature and art. Plato is thinking in the first instance of Greek poets who had graced the courts of Dionysius or Archelaus: and the old spirit of freedom is roused within him at their prostitution of the Tragic Muse in the praises of tyranny. But his prophetic eye extends beyond them to the false teachers of other ages who are the creatures of the government under which they live. He compares the corruption of his contemporaries with the idea of a perfect society, and gathers up into one mass of evil the evils and errors of mankind; to him they are personified in the rhetoricians, sophists, poets, rulers who deceive and govern the world.


The Republic
The third excerpt represents the element of Water. It speaks of pure spiritual influences and feelings of love, and is drawn from Father Goriot by Honore de Balzac:

bracing air of the place and its quiet situation.

It was this prospectus that attracted Mme. la Comtesse de l'Ambermesnil, a widow of six and thirty, who was awaiting the final settlement of her husband's affairs, and of another matter regarding a pension due to her as the wife of a general who had died "on the field of battle." On this Mme. Vauquer saw to her table, lighted a fire daily in the sitting-room for nearly six months, and kept the promise of her prospectus, even going to some expense to do so. And the Countess, on her side, addressed Mme. Vauquer as "my dear," and promised her two more boarders, the Baronne de Vaumerland and the widow of a colonel, the late


Father Goriot
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 Glaucus/The Wonders of the Shore by Charles Kingsley:

the delicate beauty of the perfect insects, as the "caddises," rising to the surface, become flying Phryganeae (caperers and sand- flies), generally of various shades of fawn-colour; and the water- crickets (though an unscientific eye may be able to discern but little difference in them in the "larva," or imperfect state) change into flies of the most various shapes; - one, perhaps, into the great sluggish olive "Stone-fly" (Perla bicaudata); another into the delicate lemon-coloured "Yellow Sally" (Chrysoperla viridis); another into the dark chocolate "Alder" (Sialis lutaria): and the majority into duns and drakes (Ephemerae); whose grace of form, and delicacy of colour, give them a right to rank among the