Julius, who had a sour, bitter nature, became Groucho. (He was also the quartet’s treasurer, storing their wages in what vaudeville actors called a “grouch bag.”) Adolph, who played the harp, naturally became Harpo. Leonard the pathological womanizer Fisher dubbed Chico, pronounced “Chick-o.” Milton, so the story goes, became Gummo because, as a hypochondriac, he put on waterproof sneakers, known as “gumshoes,” at the first sign of rain. Their
Literary art's sudden, startling truth and beauty make us feel, in the most solitary part of us, that we are not alone, and that there are meanings that cannot be bought, sold or traded, that do not decay and die. This socially and economically worthless experience is called transcendence, and you cannot assign a paper, or a grade, or an academic rank, on that. Literature is too sacred to be taught. It needs only to be read.
I'm writing a book on magic”, I explain, and I'm asked, “Real magic?” By real magic people mean miracles, thaumaturgical acts, and supernatural powers. “No”, I answer: “Conjuring tricks, not real magic”. Real magic, in other words, refers to the magic that is not real, while the magic that is real, that can actually be done, is not real magic.