First of all, everyone, you’re the greatest. You guys are killers, machines, animals, and other strong words as well. I was impressed with the high turnout of rough drafts on Monday. We’ll keep working on Wednesday. Let me address a few random things while I’m thinking about it:
Other Stuff Unrelated to the Paper:
It could be that fiction has no place in this class, except I’m the boss of this class and I just decided that it does have a place. Academic writing doesn’t have to be dry and impersonal, and our next few papers will have lots of room for creativity and self expression, I hope. Having said that, I’m thinking we should explore a couple of readings and then watch clips of the film adaptation of those readings. Both of the readings come from a collection of short stories called Jesus Son, by Denis Johnson. I’m going to give you lots of options for this assignment so listen carefully. I want you to look at the descriptions of these two stories and choose which one you want to read. You are of course welcome and encouraged to read both of them but you’ll only be responsible for one.
1. Two Men
The character suddenly finds himself with a big, deaf and dumb man in the back seat of his car, and what to do with him? The story begins light heartedly and takes a kind of devastating turn.
Scroll down to the heading “FALSE COALITIONS”
The same character (there is one protagonist who appears in all the stories in this book) finds himself working at a hospital as an orderly. He has a drug problem and he’s trying to stay clean, but he does not stay clean. This story is weird and funny. It’s a little longer than the first one, I think.
Scroll down to the heading “KNIFE IN THE EYE”
Both of these stories have been featured and read in the new yorker fiction podcast. I’ve provided links so that you can listen to them. However, in the past, I’ve had students complain that they didn’t like listening to a story and wanted a paper copy. I am willing to make highly illegal photocopies of the stories upon request.
If you want a paper version of the story(s), I want you to please request one in the comment field below. Tell me which story you want and one other interesting thing about life, your day, the universe.
For example: Hi Molly. I think I’d like to read Two Men. Also I learned that the word defenestration means “to throw a person or thing out of a window.” I pledge to try to use this word in a sentence today.
I’ll bring paper copies for those who request them on Wednesday. I want you to read one of the stories for Friday and come prepared to do a fast write at the beginning of class with your overall impressions.
Bring rock solid rough drafts for workshopping on Wednesday, and leave me a comment requesting a paper copy of the story. (Please, only if you really prefer that to the audio file and plan to read it. The english department is going to kill me for making thousands of illegal copies.)
See you on Wednesday, friends.