Wednesday, November 17, 2004


Visual Puns
via J walk - with more sites suggested in the comments.

pawalkrk comes from Rebus Puzzle Brainteasers

Might swipe this word as blogging shorthand for went for a stroll near the river with the dog and it was beautiful (which is roughly 30% of the average weekly content)
And then this dingbat   some I'M thing might also be useful as hiatus minimalism

another less puzzling take:A Natural history of the visual Pun

Comments: pawalkrk

If yer can lay yer hands on it it, you will purely love Ian Lee's "The Third Wor'd War: Apostrophe Theory" - which really pucks around with how puns puck around with us ontologically. But best read in an oncologically enhanced state.

On ya.
Posted by Nabakov at November 18, 2004 12:29 AM

not much trace of this book ON line?

Alas - sounds intriguing, for a military thriller.
Might have to check the SLV.
Posted by boynton at November 18, 2004 12:12 PM

I have a copy of "The Third Wor∞d War," and would not take £1000 for it, if I could not replace it. It is brilliant.
Posted by El Jamón Misterioso at October 17, 2005 01:28 AM

oh well, I will


Posted by nv green at October 17, 2005 01:32 PM

Re- that Third Wor'd War:
Can't get a copy myself - and I wrote it!

Mr Misterioso has made my day!
Posted by ian lee at December 2, 2005 01:05 AM

Re that Third Wor'd War
Can't get hold of a copy myself - and I wrote it!
Posted by Ian Lee at December 2, 2005 01:06 AM

Oh dear - things are lookin' crook when an author can't get hold of their own book. There seems to be a few about in cyberbookstores, but then when I was trying to secure 'Len Deighton's Action Cookbook' recently, most of the virtual copies listed had disappeared. Maybe they were display copies only...

I doubt whether Nabakov will want to lend anyone his copy now. May have to read it in the Rare Books Collection on site someday.
Posted by boynton at December 2, 2005 01:46 PM

Bonty's right, Ian Lee. No way am I lending out my copy of that extremely original and thought-provoking book "The Third Wor'd War". Obviously created by someone from the country that invented cryptic crosswords but had no need to invent surrealism - because, as some French theorist pointed out, the English at their most logical will always end up more surreal than anyone else.

And please take this as a compliment Ian - it's a great podulating on the meaning of how we see stuff book when you're taking some quality time to move your bowels. Beats the shit out of Berger's "Ways Of Seeing" or McLuhan and Fiore's "The Medium Is The Massage".

Anyway, anytime you're in Melbourne, you're utterly welcome to inspect my copy of your book while being plied with good local plonk.
Posted by Nabakov at December 13, 2005 10:40 PM


El Jamón Misterioso said...

I DO NOT believe the REAL Mr. Ian Lee, author of the *magnificent* "The Third Wor+d War" ever posted on this site.

If he has, or if anyone knows his whereabouts, I would be THRILLED to speak with him.

yo soy,
El Jamón Misterioso

boynton said...

Well I DO believe it was the REAL Lee, El.
[citation needed]
Agree re *magnificence*.

El Jamon Misterioso said...

Mr. Lee, Phone Your publisher!

- IF - the Real Mr. Ian Lee did post on this site, or if ANYONE knows how to contact him, tell him to contact his publisher. Original publisher of 'Third Wor'd War' was Thames & Hudson Ltd., London.

I contacted them asking for information about the author, but they didn't have anything.

I suggested to them that with all us Baby Boomers now interested in brain stimulation (such as the Sudoku craze), trying to keep our minds active and stave off Alzheimer's as we get old, a re-issue of "The Third Wor'd War" could be a big hit right now.

So Mr. Lee, if you're out there, or if anyone knows his whereabouts, contact your publisher!

mikkijanc said...

I had his e-mail address once. We corresponded briefly in the days prior to 9/11.

I remember commenting to him on 9/13 that I hadn't heard the word "war" more on any single day in my entire life. He apologized and expressed regret that the title of his book contributed to that tally.

To this day I find the visual vernacular of The Third Wor*d War poignant. I pick the book up every two or three years and notice something new every time I peruse it. The work iteself remains the is my perspective that evolves. Any new insights into the work stem from that evolution.

Mr. Ian Lee...(wherever you are) initial e-mail was NOT a prank propagated by your children. And yes....I am now currently very much living in the blue.

boynton said...

Since Nabakov drew our attention to this wonderful book, I have been given a copy (thanks Tony T, who tracked it down last Christmas) and have corresponded with the Mr (Sur) real Lee
A fabulous book that does indeed reveal more with each reading.

(And one of the highlights of the blogging journey for me.)

PhilipS said...

Count me as another fan of this wonderful book.

Does anybody know if Ian Lee published anything else? There are many books by various "Ian Lee"s, but none that look similar.

boynton said...

Not sure, but would be keen to read additionally.

Jerboa said...

One of my all time favourite reads also.

It does turn up a fair bit second hand on the web (just google the ISBN: 089104115X , for example)

I've been occasionally scouring the net for more info and discussion since the last century (!), but never found much or in fact anything at all (apart from this page right here) - the everything2 page that turns up in google on "third wor'd war" doesn't count: I had to write it myself.

If you go to and search on the ISBN above, you can click on the author there. It lists one other book by that author, "The Nuclear Mentality" on psychological aspects of the arms race, co-written with Lynn Barnett. I've no idea how accurate this is.

To the elusive Ian Lee: if you do ever (re)visit this page, please give us a blog, a fan site, an exegetical webpage, an updated special edition on, a web *version* ! - anything!

boynton said...

I endorse your campaign - a blog spot * would be great.

Adrian said...

Ian Lee fan here - I first bought TWW back in the 80's - & envious that you succeeded where I failed, i.e. to make contact with him. He cleverly has a very common name thereby making himself as elusive as he wants to be. On the subject of his oeuvre, in TWW there is photo of a book by him called "My Idea of a Novel", but I guess that's just a mock-up. Anyway, Mr B, please do tell us what became of Ian Lee.

Adrian said...

Oops. Miss B :)

boynton said...

Hello Adrian,

You prompted me to take down my copy and search for "My Idea of a Novel".

Agree with the above comment by mikkijanc

I pick the book up every two or three years and notice something new every time I peruse it

and also, often find myself reading the landscape with ' theory in mind, so it has indeed been a convers*ion piece

I was lucky to make contact with him, but do not know much more than any of us. I hope he adds to his oeuvre.
I hope he comments here again one day.

:kvilla: said...

This is as surreal as the day I came upon Ian Lee's TWW at a second-hand book shop in Manila in the early 2000s.

What an amazing find, this blog (thank you for keeping it), as many of you, I hadn't had any success finding more about Ian Lee (and TWW) since getting online in the days of IRC, Netscape, and Windows95.

Thrilled at reading the comments.