Other Humeziana

  ...“That’s all very well, but what ELSE can you do?”

...as clerkes finden writen in thir boke...

                     BOOKS (with Alexander Humez):

   Latin for People/Latina pro Populo (Little, Brown: 1976). Arguably the first post-Chomskian Latin grammar for grownups, this is a book for people who either never took Latin in school and now wished they had, or else took it, forgot most of it, and now wish they hadn’t. “Where was this book when I was in High School?” rhetorically asked a reader from Baltimore. “Splendid handbook...with pedagogic efficiency and good humor,” said The Common Reader.  Well, why shouldn’t the exercises for translation include a few classic shaggy dog stories: Ursus in tabernam introiit et cerevisiam imperavit.... (“A bear went into a bar and ordered a beer....”)  So much for anyone who thought it was a “dead” language. —Available for $13.95 from this link to Amazon.com.

   Alpha to Omega: The Life and Times of the Greek Alphabet (Godine:1981). The organizing principle is a chapter for each letter of the Greek alphabet; the contents are the words we got from the Greeks whose originals began with that letter. The end result is a crash course in everything you ever needed to know about classical Hellenic culture, and then some. Don’t try to read it at one sitting! “A kind of thinking man’s “Book of Lists”... peppered with piquant trivia,” wrote Erich (Love Story) Segal in the New York Times Book Review. —Presently available at a 32% discount (=$11.53) at this Amazon.com link.

   A B C Et Cetera: The Life and Times of the Roman Alphabet (Godine: 1985). Does for the Romans and their etymons and culture what our Alpha to Omega did for the Greeks. Amanda Heller’s Boston Globe review declared that  “We have the Romans to thank for our law, our government, and our language, and Alexander and Nicholas Humez write about this legacy with such charm and easy erudition that they actually make us grateful for it. Whether expounding on mythical beasts, Etruscan pronunciation or classical verse in quest- ionable taste, these authors provide the amateur philologist with a bas- ketful of goodies...from odd angles, without pomposity or solemnity.”      —This link to Amazon.com offers the book at $15.95.

  On the Dot: The Speck That Changed the World (Oxford, 2008). This long-awaited millennial Humez Bros. collaboration talks about how the smallest written mark we make has a plethora of uses from full stop to delimiter to code sign to decimal marker and even component of other punctuation. The endnotes are a whole book’s worth of edification and amusement by themselves. Presently available in hardcover only at  $24.95, but OUP also intends to publish a softcover edition in the not too distant future, so watch this space.

 Short Cuts: A Guide to Oaths, Ring Tones, Ransom Notes, Fam- ous last Words, & Other Forms of Minimalist Communication (Oxford, 2010). The Humez Bros. are joined by Rob Flynn in this exploration of the abbreviated ways in which we share information in a busy world. Texting, skywriting, epitaphs, icons, classified ads, answering machine messages, vanity plates, gimme caps, calling cards, and even spurious dictionary definitions get a nod here; as a bonus, additional aspects of (and afterthoughts about) this subject are examined at our Short Cuts blog, viabrevis.wordpress.com.

                     HUMEZ POETRY PAMPHLETS:

Every so often I get my local small press to run off a 20-24 page pamphlet of my latest poems, which I issue in numbered editions of a hundred or so. There are still copies available of three of these booklets, which you can order from me directly. Simply copy the order form below from your browser and print it out, fill in the blanks, write me a check, and send order form and payment to the address below:

......................................................................................................                The Humez Poetry Order Form                                            (Laureate Edition)

                                             Quantity requested:

The Traddy Man’s Song  (1997)  ____

Fat Aunts (2002)                         ____

 Heracles Undresses (2003)         ____

                                         total     ____ x $6.00 =  $_______                                                                                   

Please make check payable to Nick Humez and send to:

                                               Nick Humez                                                                                  P. O. Box 853                                                                               Painesville, OH                                                                                     44077


                                             NICHOLAS D. HUMEZ, SILVERSMITH:

   This is the medium in which I earned much of my living from 1970 to about 1984, and I still do quite a lot of silversmithing down to the present day. This really calls for a whole page of its own. Enjoy the examples below, but soon I’ll  add a link to my forthcoming silver site.       ( For more information, email: humezthesilversmith <at> earthlink.net )


Left: American-Can (1990). “Little children, keep yourself from idols,” writes St. John, and he wasn’t kidding.  It’s a grand old flag, but it’s a grander old Bill of Rights; in my book, fetishizing the former while trashing the latter is brummagem patriotism at best. This calavera is 7” high; the cylinder beneath the friction- fitted lid on which our lady perches can hold two fluid ounces.


Right: Hammer Cymbal (2005). 5” high. As a boy growing up in Massa- chusetts, I used to love visiting the Science Museum in Boston, where in a stairwell there was (and still is, last I knew) a whole wall of gears, pistons, racks-and-pinions, and other cloodges for transmitting energy from point A to

point B. This was my third machine for converting rotary to oscil- lating motion: The hammer strikes the cymbal from underneath so that when you rotate the crank, every little turn goes ding.


Left: Some custom jewelry for three of my favorite people.       Top: Labyrinth Earrings (2003), sterling, charcoal-cast and burr-carved, made for a midwest shaman and healer of my fond acquaintance. (Walking a full-size labyrinth, wheth- er a permanent one in stones or just sketched on a large piece of canvas, induces a state of tranquility that defies ra- tional empiricism. Try it some time, if you don’t believe me.)     Bottom: Rosa Rugosa Wedding Rings (2004), 14 Kt. yellow gold, burr-carved. Rugosa thrives in sandy soil and doesn’t mind salt; I have fond memories of bicycling past opulent hedges of it along the byways of Cape Cod and the islands. (These were the most challenging I ever carved, but for near-and-dear kinfolk one does not do things by halves.)

   If you’d like to learn more about some of the tools and techniques I used in mak- ing the pieces above, you could do worse than my Silversmithing: A Basic Manual (Little, Brown: 1976): It’s been out of print for 20 years, but every so often a lib- rary discard in good shape will turn up on Amazon, so it’s worth trying your luck.

PUBLISHERS’ SERVICES:  You may contract with me for a broad range of free- lance production-editorial services including proofreading, back-of-the-book indexing, and copy-writing, with referrals to specialists in graphic design and other skills usual and customary in the trade. Please e-mail me at spintrian@earthlink.net for more information.