Thursday, September 13, 2012, 7:00 P.M., City Lights Bookstore, San Francisco
discussing his new book
The Painted Word
from Cleis Press' Viva Editions
To untangle the knot of interlocking meanings of these painted words, logophile and mythologist Phil Cousineau begins each fascinating word entry with his own brief definition. He then fills it in with a tint of etymology and a smattering of quotes that show how the word is used, ending with a list of companion words. The words themselves range from commonplace—like biscuit, a twice-baked cake for Roman soldiers—to loanwords including chaparral, from the Basque shepherds who came to the American West; words from myths, such as hector; metamorphosis words, like silly, which evolved holy to goofy in a mere thousand years; and words well worthy of revival, such as carrytale, a wandering storyteller. Whether old-fangled or brand new, all the words included in The Painted Word possess an ineffable quality that makes them luminous.
Praise for Wordcatcher: "[E]very word becomes a story with the help of author Phil Cousineau, who has been writing stories for some time now, about mythology, travel, design, spirituality, and, yes, riddles. It is his breadth of knowledge and storytelling skills that bring this book to life . . . This kind of book is the kind you dip into, but I read it cover to cover, not wanting to miss an entry." — Susan Stamberg, NPR's Morning Edition
Phil Cousineau is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, teacher and editor, independent scholar and travel leader, storyteller and TV host. He is the author of numerous books including Wordcatcher