O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae monie a blunder free us
An' foolish notion:
What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us
And ev'n Devotion!

-- Robert Burns, "To A Louse"

Visitor Comments
We felt it would be nice to provide visitors with an area of their own, a page where they can record comments and criticisms about our site. This page will collect some of the more colorful comments and criticisms about The Modern Word.

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Send Comments

Visitor Comments

Anna Tukova -- "Thanks"

I would like to express my special thanks to you for James Joyce page I have discovered just few days ago. I have not covered even a tenth part of Libyrinth yet but it promises to be a really gorgeous journey that I've started thanks to you. Actually, it was also swell to visit the Brazen Head bar. There are only two things that you have living far far away from Ireland in the Far East of Russia and adoring Joyce's books: your imagination and your willinglness to read and keep searching for more
information. So, your site is really helpful and thanks again.

William Harris -- "Thanks!"

Thank you for taking the time to put useful information on the web! People like you are fueling the information revolution, and it does make a difference.

Angela Vanegas -- "Congratulations"
I've never send congratulations to a web master before, but your web site is wonderful. It is not only full good information, but the design is elegant and beautiful. Thank you for this page.

Carrie Neeson -- "shameless flattery"
I was sitting at my computer this morning, lamenting my fate of being stuck in the vast, hot cultural wasteland that is Southern California in late August. To my surprise I stumbled onto The Libyrinth and now, a few hours later, feel as if I have died and gone to whatever heaven awaits people like me (which, in my mind is a comfortable room lined with floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, a roaring fireplace, every reference book known to mankind, and generous portions of fine wine).
Thank you for an elegant journey. I will visit often. The simplicity of your website's overall design is a perfect complement to the depth of the material contained. Very entertaining, very informative...perfect for someone like me who falls slightly above the median between literary moron and biblio-geek and whose tastes in literature seem to fall along similar lines as yours. I have read so few modern books that I can "sink my teeth into" the way I have with Eco's, the most recent exception being An Instance of the Fingerpost, which I thoroughly enjoyed. I will look forward to visiting other areas of your website for recommendations.
Keep up the good work!

Sid Clark -- "Pynchon is evil."
He's a literary psychopath. Your hero worship is worse than misguided.

Steve Mills, General Counsel eCaribou.com -- "Wonderful Beautiful Site"
Just wanted to take a moment to praise your site. It is so esthetically pleasing that I want to go back there again and again just to interact with it. Great Job. I have used your site as an example in my company, a business to business ecommerce and information portal, of what should be happening on the internet vs. the endless cataloguing you see on the pages who have bought hook, line and sinker into the "portal" formats of the AOL's, Yahoo's, Netscapes, etc.

K. Rosenberry -- "Thanks"
Thank you for your wonderful site on Márquez. I just finished One Hundred Years of Solitude. At the beginning I went into the book without a clue. I read your site about 300 pages into the book and everything became clear. Thank you! Márquez has become someone that I will be reading more of. Once again, all of your efforts are much appreciated.

Judy Nelson -- "Thanks"
I happened onto your Libyrinth site via a friend's Joyce short film, and roared with laughter from the homepage on. Mrs Malaprop in a blender with Coleridge Taylor -- Wander of the Word indeed. When I bought a computer last year, I quickly concluded that all of cyberspace was just one giant mall/billboard/tabloid and that I wasn't interested, thank you very much. You've given me NEW HOPE, she cried, stretching her arms to Jaysus as she fainted to the floor (but how could that be? since it was a revival tent, of course).
Anyway, it's a delight to find people who both revere and relish Joyce et al, and who aren't too overawed to have a good time with him. I heartily commend the idea of a Rushdie site -- he has more of the sheer appetite and eye for the immediate than any other contemporary writer I can think of. Great thoths and babeling books -- what the world needs now. I'm going to get to work on my own Xanadu straightaway.

T. Tuominen -- "Hmm...."
A devastatingly effective site. Really. A pearl in the vast ocean of feces in the www.

Trobbit -- ":::gasping:::"
It's rather a shock to find someone as good as you at this web thing. I have spent the last five years looking at tens of thousands of web things, and this is the only time I've had to sign off so I could call people up and order them to look at a site right now, holiday parties in progress be damned. Because of you, I may have to get a second phone line. Because by now they are trying to call me to talk about your site. Let 'em e-mail -- I still haven't been to Bronze...

M "Errata" -- "errata stumbles into the dusty book-filled room with tears of joy, and a sigh of relief."
I have not yet delved deep into the Librynth, and already i feel the impact. i am a newbie, not just to cyber-reality, but to the land of living as well. I've spent most of my youth living on the streets gasping for life, just surviving. as a child i could only escape into books, there was no where else to go. i guess what i'm saying is though i have no formal education, know nothing about grammar, and have no framework for understanding half of this.
i want to learn.
it's what keeps me alive.
and by finding you here, you have added to that life force.
I longingly search for those who can teach me; family, and education are things this society take for granted, i haven't had either. i really don't know why i'm telling you all this, but you made a difference some how. and i wanted you to know that.
i might actually learn something here! its the first intelligent site i've found!
so thanks.

Khurram Dastgir-Khan -- "Was Narcissus elegant?"
Libyrinth is the first elegant site I have seen on the Web. But the site is turning into a multiple reflection of the creator's personality. Your
creativity is not in doubt, but your discretion is.
The writers you love do not, at first glance, appear strung along Ariadne's thread. And one wonders that in presence of the Quail's Nest,
did we really need Sarnath? The beginnings to the last four paragraphs in
exeunt libyrinth are revealing: "My homepage...," "I design...," "I am the
Webmaster...," "My site...."
I am grateful that libyrinth exists, but with all due apologies to you as its creator, the byways of your self form a much too larger portion of the libyrinth. Less Ruch, more Omphalos!

Undine Spragg -- "The ineluctable modality of cyberspace"
I'm sure you've heard it all, so I'll try to be concise: Never before have I come across a site that merges your particular literary angle with such excellent programming and wonderfully witty attention to detail (and content). The internet being the ever-burgeoning medium that it is, I can only hope that internet lit./art appreciation is taking note. Please, continue to be one of the reasons this teen persists in surfing-
And that more abundantly,
A Grateful Siteperambulator

Rachel Menth -- "Nice work on the website!"
Well, all I have to say is that this is a great website on James
Joyce. The best one I've visited. I am attempting to read Ulysses, a hard task, especially at a tender age of thirteen. I bought the book, and said to myself, "Hey, I've heard it's a good book, maybe I'll read it," and then I got home, opened it to the first page, and became instantly lost. I ran for shelter to the Internet, and looked through at least ten other sites before I came to yours. You gave me all the answers I needed to take on the task, providing me with raw information on the story. To you I am eternally grateful.

Guild@aol.com -- "ur page sucks"
personally ur webpage macondo is the sorriest website i have ever been to. i am also especially disgusted as to how ur website was not operational the nite of dec 7-8. ur links are the most stupidest links i have ever seen, ur page has absolutely no literary content wutsoever. that one nite was so important!!! but the thing is , it came up the next day, so now my english teacher doesnt belifve me!!! ur such a freak i hate u i hope ur computer gets a virus and your webpage dies

Monica Belevan -- "Hail the Herald Quail!"
Ah- carissimo Quail, now your identity is much more clear to me! Once again, wandring into the wishywaters of your ululating Liffey, I halted my pace in the midst of the caffeine joyride, reposed in thy nest and concluded that you are- a starstruck, sunstreaked and lantelighted luminaire! Thanks for the magnificent work- but, above all, for the undying love of Anonymous BanaLofty.
The plurabellic, annalivia,

George Tucker -- "Amazing"
I've been staring at the Libyrinth since I first began reading "Gravity's Rainbow" many months ago. It is the most megalithic, stunning, infuckingcredible thing I've ever seen on the Web. Please don't stop adding to it until you complete it and then the entire literate world can gape and jawp as you take a bow.

John Ratcliffe-- "Hmmmm. . . "
I'm afraid your essay fails to address the real concerns of those who are attempting to read Joyce for the first time. I am a huge Robert Anton Wilson fan, and have felt compelled to read some of Joyce's work based on his recomendation alone. However, the issues which arise in the mind of the first time reader are rather simple.
Your essays here, and the protestations of others, sound far too similar to the feigned enthusiasm the art world has for minimilistic junk. Does the emperor wear no clothes? Isn't it likely this is the first thought of the first time reader? Gibberish, nonsense, cryptic, boring, arcane, and, most significantly, pointless?
I am a strange reader of sorts, filled with such ego that I demand from my author clarity, rationality, and a directed narrative. I am quite willing to give Joyce, or any other author, a respectable chance if there is a method to their madness.
However, at a certain point it becomes completely reasonable to stand up and object to such a hoax. When an artist produces a work of paint splatters, a jumble of sticks and stones, or simply a blank canvas, the art world is welcome to shower him with praise, love, and adoration. Meanwhile, I am quite capable of observing that this self-proclaimed work of art conveys no meaning or relevance to me.
It is this general attitude of skepticism and impatience that needs to be addressed to the person who approaches Joyce for the first, and probably last time. To simply protest "Have faith", is of little solace to those who are being abused by Joycian narrative.
What value is there to be found wading through gibberish, nonsense, and non-linear ravings for hundreds of pages on end? Convince me in a way that Joyce cannot.
I'm not saying the emperor truly has no clothes, but from where I stand, the first time reader, his tunic is near see through.

Christopher Bassity -- "Praise"
As an undergraduate English major, I once heard a fairly apt description of Ulysses and FW, and I was thoroughly daunted. So here in my first year of grad school I read Dubliners and find I love him already. I stumble onto your site while doing research for a paper, and find someone who can talk/write about literature--JOYCE, no less--without lapsing into 4-syllable-ontological-Derridite-pseudo-erudite critical babble.
Life is worth living after all.

Donald Reeser -- "Libyrinth"
Yours is perhaps one of the finest sites I've ever had the pleasure of viewing. Like Adso with his pitiful string, I've been wandering the twists and turns of your site! Finally, a place where the where the half-formed thoughts I've had on Borges and Eco (among others) collide and come to fruition. Many thanks for the fine work you've done thus far. I look forward to spending many hours wandering the halls and passages of your web-site.

Rick Levinson -- "re: how amazing Brazen Head is"
I bookmarked BRAZEN HEAD as soon as I saw it. It's brilliant and I congratulate you on creating a 'site of which Joyce himself would have been proud. You're doing a magnificent job of informing the www community of this most human, most humane and most gifted of 20th century writers. I hope that more people realize that Joyce is not as 'difficult' as is conventionally thought. I hope more people get past the intimidation of tackling his work and learn for themselves what a soulful, deeply learned and genuinely witty man was Joyce. ULYSSES is the most intense and pleasurable reading experience of my life and it's gratifying to know that a wonderful site like yours is there to acquaint people with the works of the greatest writer of the 20th century. Keep up your outstanding work.

quimica -- "EGO"
In your web page, you tell a lot of interesting things...that´s great, but you don´t say a word about RPG and... who cares who you are?, what do you like or dislike?...It just shows your big EGO
Anyway, nice web page

Joe Wallerstein -- "Great Site!"
I am a senior at Pomona College in Claremont, CA. I am taking a class on James Joyce where one of the assignments was to find a web site on Joyce using certain clues and the one I chose led me to you site. I must say after going through it, I think it is one of the best Joyce Websites out there. I was pleased to see that you had on your site an essay published by a former Pomona Professor, Brian Stonehill. Professor Stonehill was perhaps the biggest Joyce fan here, and was the one responsible for creating the Pomona College Web site (perhaps you've seen it). Sadly, Professor Stonehill passed away this past summer in a car accident, however our class plans to continue to contribute to the site and expand it.
Thanks for making my evening on the net so enjoyable!

Eric Downes -- "Omphalos"
While searching for information on Gabriel Garcia Marquez, for a paper on 100 Years, I came to your site. Oh great poets rejoice that alas
intelligent literary criticism and information has found a place on the net! Omphalos is excellent, not only from the view point of a fellow HTMLer but from a literary standpoint, I love your choice of authors, and It is my sincere wish that you shall never have any kind of bugs (heaven forbid those with the last name Samsa) on this page of yours, and that you will gain as much enjoyment as I did from this page that you have so masterfully designed.

The Postfeminist Playground -- "Quailmail"
we're cheap
not cheep.
we ain't mad at you.
we see you as a Joycean-familiar
sent down to electronically
funnel pretty prose.
be cool.

Richard Eppes -- "Borges"
you seem to think you have such a firm grasp of borges inner mind. yet one of the great beauties about his work is that it is open to infinite interpretations. borges, in his work, says that the reader plays just as much a part in the creation of a work as the author does because of the infinite levels of meaning in any work. your information is very interesting, but by reducing borges to mere quotes, you seem to simplify his profound, far-reaching, inter-textual meaning. also, in your list of works, which is obviously incomplete, you list some works, like doctor brodie's report, which you say you haven't read, then you proceed to summarize them. what is that?! i think you should lay aside some of your notions about borges and re-read his works again. you get new and different things each time you read his works, which in my opinion, is what borges really wanted. borges wrote about eternity and infinity, and his works are examples of slices of those infinty he wrote about.

Sheila Bankhead -- "Libyrinth"
I've been traveling the web for as long as it's been there (which isn't very long) and yours is one of only two sites found so far which provide food for the soul as well as the eyes and the mind. And, I was amazed to read your literary progression.......sounds so much like my middle son, who read many of those books to tatters.

Jonathan Key -- "The Libyrinth, Eco"
I've been trawling the Net for references to Umberto Eco, and, amongst the hundreds of links to his MacCatholicism article, I was delighted to see something more intelligent going on -- viz, your site.
I just wanted to say that someone out here appreciates a literary site that real effort and dedication has been put into. It also helps that you seem to like some of my favourite authors, even if the whole is a little too Joycean for my style-sensitive palette. I was most impressed by the 'Books Borges never wrote' page, which was my first experience with the site. I was unaware of Eco's comment on 'Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius', so I'm delighted to have been made aware of it. Of course, I have to check that you haven't made it up... I don't know which I would prefer to be true, in fact, so I think you've won there.
All the best, and thanks for an interesting site.

Ben Munsey -- "The New Libyrinth"
Allen, I've enjoyed your site for a long time and have kept up a link to it from my homepage. I'm interested in the meeting of literature and the web, and I do like sending new folks over to get lost in your labyrinth, because your presentations of and comments on these fine writers are so cogent and witty and attractive. While checking my links I found that you'd overhauled your site.
I'm very glad you won't let the site get stale. But I care enough about it to point out a couple reservations I have.
First of all, I run Internet Explorer. I used to run Netscape, but I just like IE better. There's no accounting for taste. Please don't write me off so quickly just because I won't change back to Netscape.
My second reservation is serious, but may be premature. You are undergoing a major renovation and your are interested in maintaining a seamless experience for your guests. But you may have buried your old stuff too deep. When I enter the Libyrinth now I see little or nothing about Joyce or Marquez or Eco or Borges. I see a lot about Allen Ruch, the designer. Doubtless this will change as you tweak things. Please keep in mind, however, that some of us are much more interested in your ideas than in your sense of graphic design.
Well, thanks for your kind attention. I hope I didn't annoy you, because I appreciate all you've done to interest and delight me over the last couple years.
Keep up the good work

Jan Kinney -- "Purple Crayons"
Bravo, bravo, bravo -- this is the first time I've read your statement, though I've played in your Joyce room several times. I've never seen any other reference to Harold's purple crayon -- my mother and I used to read it to my baby sisters back in the late 50's and early 60's (there ARE several books, by the way) and there exist Imitations of Harold under the bedroom paint in a house in South Seattle...
So thank you for linking all these wonderful beings together with a fourth-dimensional ball of string. It's a pleasure to play with you.

Timothy Eastman -- "Respect"
I cannot tell you just exactly what your essay "On Beyond Zebra" has made me feel, but I must say that I have the utmost respect for your talent as a writer. I have never read a work that has made me feel more 'normal' in my life. Being twenty years old and having read Ficciones in both spanish and english until the covers fell off, I have been absolutely enthralled by the worlds that Mr. Borges has introduced to me. I have been directed from Borges to Marquez to Cortazar to an unending cascade of worlds. I know that no matter how much I read and understand, there will always be something just waiting, on the periphery, to be discovered and not to be discovered. Your web site has truly opened another door for my education.

Z1444@aol -- "Thanks"
This is the best web site I have ever seen. You have made my life richer, you have made my life better. I have learned a ton, and can come back and back. May you be richly rewarded for the time you spend on this---may blessings descend on your civilized head. Many, many thanks.

Adam Warren -- "Amazed"
I found your wonderful Libyrinth site while searching for sites related to mazes and labyrinths and would like to add a link to it from a site I run for Caerdroia, the journal of mazes and labyrinths. I was particularly taken by your synergy of library and labyrinth, and its reflection in the design and structure of your site -- beautiful. In particular I plan to highlight your section on Borges, as this is likely to be of most interest to our visitors.
I'll keep a look out for second-hand copies of that book "On Beyond Zebra" too...

Kirsten Bishop -- "A site for sore eyes"
For something like a year I have been traversing the Weeping Wastes of the Web. Occasionally, nestled amid the shifting dunes of dross, I find something worth looking at; something which reminds me just how damn fine we human beings can be sometimes. Your Libyrinth is one of those treasures; and not just a pretty rock in the sand, but a wonderful tower of luscious and stimulating chambers!
Though your author pages are some of the best (maybe *the* best I have seen), it was "The Quail's Nest" which made me really want to write to you. The books you mention being excited by as a kid are the exact same ones I remember loving, but somehow I had forgotten them; so thanks for reminding me. It brought the magic back all over again. You've also inspired me to go out today and buy something by Borges, who has so far only been a name on my "ought to get around to that one some day" list.
Thanks for providing a wonderful site.

Carl P. Spirito, PhD, University of New England
Thank you for the Libyrinth Site! It is, without a doubt, the BEST webpage I have ever seen. And, I seem to enjoy the same works/authors as you do, which enhances my enjoyment further. I look forward to your newest revisions.

Omar Tellez-- "Aracataca"
I am amazed by your knowledge and dedication to GGM life and work. I am from Barranquilla, Colombia and have been in Macondo many times. My congratulations to you for such a great web site. My mother and wife will love it.
You make me feel proud of my shameful country. Best of luck to you. Please keep me posted of any changes to your URL.

StGamboa -- "How obvious it is..."
How sad it is to read something about one's native land and realize that it is so obvious that the writer has never stepped foot in it. To fully experience and write about a place such as Colombia the writer should make an attempt to immerse him/herself in the idiosyncracy of this wonderful place before writing a word about it. He/she is another pathetic example of the ignorance and close minded mentality of the typical citizen of the United States. Pity.
Best regards. . .

Gordon Hurd -- "Kudos"
I'm sure you've seen messages like this before, but I wanted to congratulate you on an excellent website. It's usually when I start to feel like there's absolutely nothing worthwhile on the web that I come across a place like the Libyrinth. Great new design, content, structure, nice witty names and titles. You've got a great site that you should be very proud of.
Last Modified:
31 June 2003