April 11, 2005 10:53 AM   Subscribe

Thanks. Love this stuff. Interesting that "Meals That Cook Themselves" appears to be kind of an advertorial for the Sentinel Automatic Cook Stove.
posted by scratch at 11:42 AM on April 11, 2005

Great find, monju_. I stumbled upon "Why Women Are So" from 1912, by Mary Roberts Coolidge, Ph.D, including chapters such as "The Virtues of Subservience" and "The Phantom of the Learned Lady".

But wait! It turns out that this is actually quite the feminist monograph! Very outspoken, sometimes wickedly barbed, and often quite, quite funny... And I can just see the distributors and library and bookstore stockers looking over the table of contents and thinking, "Hm. Yes, well... this looks okay; nothing dangerous here." Excellent!

Bless your heart, Mary Roberts Coolidge! Now here's a curious bit of possibly strange trivia that seemed to shake out from a Google search of the lady: In her dedication she writes: "To D.C. and other new men who set human quality above femininity in women." This is evidently to her husband, Dane Coolidge *, who, among other things , seems to have been a writer of [pulp fiction] westerns. In the infamous "pocket watch" scene in the movie "Pulp Fiction" Christopher Walken tells the young boy, "...When he had done his duty, he went home to your great-grandmother, took the watch off, put it an old coffee can, and in that can it stayed 'til your granddad Dane Coolidge was called upon by his country to go overseas and fight the Germans once again." * I wonder if it's total coincidence, or if it was nod to a pulp writer Tarantino had read, and, if so, if there are other similar vintage-fiction writers' names used within the dialogue in the same way.
posted by taz at 12:54 PM on April 11, 2005

Nifty. This reminds me of a book I came across recently which describes the historical millieu in which these writings were published. It's mostly a fluff piece, but the cumulative effect of reading admonitions such as "Like a competent secretary, the popular girl anticipates the needs and requests of her friends" makes one's head spin.
posted by pieisexactlythree at 6:47 PM on April 11, 2005

Taz - if you watch the special edition DVD of Pulp Fiction, there is a subtitle mode available that flashes bits of trivia on the screen as you watch the movie. According to the subtitles there are a ton of references and homages to pulp fiction novels, authors, characters, etc. in Pulp Fiction (most of which went right over my head until I read the explanations.)
posted by rhiannon at 9:39 PM on April 11, 2005

Aha! Thanks, rhiannon! It is not such a typical name, and I thought the coincidence was maybe too much... It sounds like it was indeed a tip of the hat to this lady's husband.
posted by taz at 1:57 AM on April 12, 2005

Excellent find, this stuff looks fun to surf. And I know a former home ec teacher that will be very much entertained with these links - thanks, monju_bosatsu!
posted by madamjujujive at 5:40 AM on April 12, 2005

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