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The Riddle of the Miners
The Anvil and the

The Beauty of the

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Kleptomania and Its

Smile and the Whole
   World Smiles with You

Tiens, voilą une baffe
There is an object called

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Walter Cummins
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The World According to William Eaton

In the world around us as explored by these essays, nothing is as simple or as straightforward as we may have thought before reading them.  They reveal layers and layers of overlooked implications.  The cliché is peeling the layers of an onion, though Bill certainly would have something to say about the use of that or any cliché in our efforts to say something about anything.

The Firesign Theater, a comedy group of the mid 1970s, began its audio recordings with an ominous voice intoning, “Everything you know is wrong!”  That statement could apply to Bill’s dissection of what we assume or believe about phenomena from speeches by politicians and actresses to acts such washing a dirty face, drawing a pear, or observing the expressions of a newborn.  

Wrong because we haven’t probed deep enough, failed to strip away those misleading layers.  We allow ourselves to be content with the platitudes of standard wisdom, the easy satisfactions of long-accepted explanations.

But don’t look for finality in these essays, revelations of absolute answers to these many conundrums.  Rather than solutions, we get provocations, evidence of all that we may have missed, exposés of things we thought we knew, making us think again.

  —Walter Cummins