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 Boston-based semiotic culture and brand analyst. He is editor/publisher of HILOBROW and the Radium Age science fiction imprint HILOBOOKS. In addition, Josh is co-author of several books, including (with Mark Kingwell and the cartoonist Seth) THE IDLER'S GLOSSARY and THE WAGE SLAVE'S GLOSSARY, the object-oriented story collections TAKING THINGS SERIOUSLY and (with Rob Walker) SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS, and (with Elizabeth Foy Larsen) the family activities guides UNBORED, UNBORED GAMES, and the forthcoming UNBORED ADVENTURE. 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.