January 9, 1894 [Fred Ott's Sneeze]

I saw in Harper's Weekly Edison's publicity photographs that form part of his "Kinetoscope" of a man sneezing. It seems this semi-autonomous convulsive expulsion takes only five seconds—but I think we will be hearing Ott for many years to come, polite but still honking like William Cullen Bryant's waterfowl, "darkly painted" but reassuring in its "certain flight." I look forward to every explosion, whether hiccough or belch or yawn, as flatulent or mellifluous as each may be.

In passing, I note the fact that it is a comfort that all arrives in silence, allowing us to provide our own politely muffled hiss or wet ratcheting—ridiculously, reassuringly human.


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