Friday, March 18, 2016

A good, odd list

From the BBC, I learn that there is an annual prize for oddest book title of the year.  The shortlist for this year does sounds enticing:

Actually, that last one might have some information on something I find odd - the matter of medieval belief that witches would happily kiss Satan's infernal you-know-what.   (Oh look, it has a Wikipedia entry.)  Doesn't that seem a rather odd myth, and hard to fathom how it started?*   Now that I think of it, what does the (much less specific) "kiss my ass" derive from?

* But then again, how did any weird story about what witches could do get started.  I read about this one years ago:
 German clergyman Heinrich Kramer described the epidemic in Malleus Maleficarum (1486)—one of the most famous medieval treatises on witches—writing: “Witches ... collect male organs in great numbers, as many as 20 or 30 members together, and put them in a bird’s nest, or shut them in a box.” But the disembodied penises didn’t just hang around. “They move themselves like living members and eat oats and corn, as has been seen by many,” Kramer wrote.
 It's the little detail of "eating oats and corn" that really floors me as a bizarre thing to dream up.

1 comment:

TimT said...

'Too Naked for the Nazis' is probably the oddest. Many of them aren't odd at all; some are obviously just doing it for the attention value. 'Transvestite Biker Nuns from Outer Space' is obviously amusing but it seems to be sourced from a film (or films) so it's not really the books fault, is it?

The Soviet Bus Stops book got a review in the Spectator; it sounds good!