Metonym and Alice In Wonderland

metonym—A word or words to mean another like “the White House” for the president.

I just finished reading The Annotated Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass a little each morning and followed with stories from old Goldenseal Magazines.

I didn’t know that James Joyce gained inspiration for Finnegan’s Wake from Through The Looking Glass—which might explain why I could make no sense of Finnegan’s Wake.

I did enjoy many years ago Joyce’s The Artist as a Young Man, but threw in the towel after about two pages of Ulysses. Wikipedia says of Ulysses, “…a landmark work in which the episodes of Homer’s Odyssey are paralleled in an array of contrasting literary styles, perhaps most prominent among these the stream of consciousness technique he perfected.” Sure puts me in my place.

I have added The Annotated Uncle Tom’s Cabin a chapter at a time to the morning-starter reading of Goldenseal stories. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., a Harvard professor, born and raised in Piedmont, WV, does some of the notes–that is where I discovered metonym. Had any of you out there in cyberland heard of that word?

I recently read The Making of an Un-American and Tribes of America by the late Paul Cowen. I met Paul many years ago in the formation of the Committee of Returned Volunteers which was composed mainly of ex-Peace Corps Volunteers organized to oppose the war on Vietnam. Tribes of America includes a chapter on the Kanawha County book war that Paul covered as a writer for the Village Voice.

I read an occasional chapter of Mann & Nature; a Collection of Essays by Hinton lawyer and philosopher Perry Mann—well written and sensitive observations on nature.

And I just sent the 10th revision to Createspace of my book The Soviet Union and Lincoln County USA.

Don’t try this at home unless you are retired.

About Sam's Branch

I joined the Peace Corps in 1961 as West Virginia’s first volunteer. Go to to order my book Imagonna: Peace Corps Memories. I am the eighth generation of my family born in the Big Coal River Valley of West Virginia. My father and grandfather were underground coal miners. I have a chemical engineering degree from West Virginia University (WVU). After training to make sidewinder missiles, I joined the Peace Corps and taught chemistry and coached the track team at a secondary school in Nigeria. Since that time, I was WVU’s first full time foreign student advisor and worked in urban outreach, organic farming, construction labor, and high school teaching. I recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Highlands Conservancy (, and recently retired from the board of directors of the West Virginia Kanawha State Forest Foundation ( I am still on the board of the Labor History Association and the West Virginia Environmental Education Association and recently joined the board of the West Virginia Civil Liberties Union. I am active in the campaign to stop the destructive practice of mountain top removal strip mining in the Appalachian Mountains. You may contact me at or my blog samsbranch.wordpress.
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