TOM WHALEN's The President in Her Towers is out now from Ellipsis Press. He is a novelist, short story writer, poet, and critic who has written for Agni, Bookforum, Film Quarterly, The Iowa Review, The Quarterly, the Washington Post and other publications. Co-editor of the Robert Walser Number of The Review of Contemporary Fiction, he has translated and written extensively on Walser's work. He teaches film at the State Academy of Art and Design in Stuttgart, Germany, and American Studies at the universities of Freiburg and Bamberg.
In Washington Irvings Rip Van Winkle, regarding the comparison of the rolling of the balls in the game of nine-pins to rumbling peals of thunder, why is it impossible to state definitively which comes first, the nine-pins or nature?