Chess Match (29)
By: Joshua Glenn | Categories: Codebreaking

“The ordinary recreations which we have in winter, and in most solitary times busy our minds with, are cards, tables and dice, shovelboard, chess-play, the philosopher’s game, small trunks, shuttlecock, billiards, music, masks, singing, dancing, Yule-games, frolics, jests, riddles, catches, purposes, questions and commands, merry tales of errant knights, queens, lovers, lords, ladies, giants, dwarfs, thieves, cheaters, witches, fairies, goblins, friars, &c., such as the old woman told Psyche in Apuleius, Boccace novels, and the rest, quarum auditione pueri delectantur, senes narratione, which some delight to hear, some to tell; all are well pleased with.” — The Anatomy of Melancholy, by Democritus Junior

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Twenty-ninth in an occasional series.

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Joshua Glenn is a cultural and brand semiotician, and co-principal of the agency SEMIOVOX LLC. He is editor and publisher of HILOBROW and the Radium Age sci-fi paperback imprint HILOBOOKS. He is author of (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY (2008) and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY (2011), and editor of the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY (2007) and (with Rob Walker) SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS (2012). With Elizabeth Foy Larsen and Tony Leone, Josh produced the popular family activities guides UNBORED (2012), UNBORED GAMES (2014), and UNBORED ADVENTURE (2015), not to mention two UNBORED activity kits from MindWare. In the ’00s, Josh was an editor and columnist for the BOSTON GLOBE's IDEAS section; in the ’90s, he published the high-lowbrow zine/journal HERMENAUT. He was born and raised in Boston, where he lives with his wife and sons.