What if I wanted to write how John Milton’s Satan is a post post-modern hero? Would that still be within the limits of the assignment?
Are you asking me if you can write a paper on John Milton’s Paradise Lost in a “Scholarship in the Last Fifty Years” course?
But I’ll be using Bourdieu as a discursive lens.
Professor looks at Student wryly, then sits on the desk in front of him.
How about I answer your inquiry in the form of a story? You see, when I was thirteen, there was an essay-writing contest put up by the Food and Drugs Administration. The first place winner received $50, which back in 1976 had about the same buying power as $213 and nine cents. The prompt was something like what is the most American pie? I wanted to argue for chicken pot pie, but I wasn’t sure that it qualified, or if they were just looking for dessert pies. So I sent the FDA a letter asking for their definition. What were the exact degrees of distinction between a pie and other pocket pastries? And you know what happened?
My parents died. I had to become man of the house. Started working two jobs and put my siblings through college. They all think I’m their father. They call me Dad. Or Papa Bear.
I tell them I’m not your father. I’m your little brother, Colin. But they won’t listen. Do you get me?
I think so. Yeah.
Professor pats Student on his head, affectionately. There are tears in his eyes.
I found a strange Bible the other day under a plastic chair at the DMV. On the cover, instead of a cross, I found a red X like the kind you might use to mark a calendar, and inside were pages barely legible so corrupted were they with bile, a gray fungus, droplets of old blood, and what I surmised to be tear stains, or rain.
Even stranger was the actual content of the Book – the text had been radically oriented away from Judeo-Christian principles, and instead reported an ideology bizarre and infused with dark purpose. Unsurprisingly, the translation purported to be the NIV, or the New International Villains.
I’ll submit at least one passage from the corrupted Book, but I will not do any more for fear it will have some absurd effect on my soul.
From 1st Abyssalinthians (which mirrors Corinthians), chapter 13, verses 4-7:
Love is parasitic, love is kind of evil. It does envy, it does boast, it is so proud. It does dishonor others, it is self-seeking, it is easily angered, it keeps a comprehensive and constantly updating record of wrongs. Love does delight in evil and rejoices in its ruthlessness. It always dissects, always thirsts, always hunts, always carries a spear.
Strangely, the Book doesn’t alter the following verse from the Original:
Love never fails.
I fear pursuing this any further. I have dropped off the book at the nearest Goodwill Donation Center.
Look at the sympathy and bravery of the Wheelbarrow Queen. Look at the tattoos of endless scrolls that unfurl down her arms. These signs carry murderers and lovers, boring summers and drunken falls. Look at her blue parka lined with orange fur. Look at her best fishnet.
Continue reading “Fiction—The Wheelbarrow Queen”
What the hell, fortune cookie.