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The Doings Of Fops

I have a piece in The Morning News today called Lone Star Statements. I only wrote about 30 words of it, but nonetheless got full credit as author. That's my kind of writing project.

Posted on October 21, 2005 to Elsewhere, Favorite Posts


Is your story about "the Game" real? How on earth did you find out about playing, if it is? That sounds like so much fun...

Posted by: Libby on October 21, 2005 11:17 AM

Gee, I thought the take on The Grapes of Wrath was pretty apt.

Posted by: holley on October 21, 2005 11:52 AM

Awesome compilaiton.

I adored the comparison in the "Gravity's Rainbow" It's just hilarious. I haven't read GR, so I have no idea what he's talking about, it's just a wonderfully tortured analogy.

RE: 1984. Damn. What an amazing encapsulation of most of this country's current woes and the general philosophy of the radical right. And that's my opinion, so it's correct.

Posted by: LizRM on October 21, 2005 12:28 PM

I once had a list on McSweeney's under my byline where all I wrote was the title. I actually argued against getting credit but they insisted:

Posted by: John Moe on October 21, 2005 1:53 PM

My favorite was "The book is not readable because of the overuse of adverbs." Those damn adverbs must've stopped him from reading before he got to the pages-long quotations of Elvish folk songs. :)

Posted by: Lori on October 21, 2005 6:29 PM

Ok, I know you didn't open comment option on the post below...

HOWEVER... The Queen is so right about this.

Posted by: Wende on October 21, 2005 10:33 PM

I gave up on books when 'To Kill A Mockingbird' gave me no useful advice on how to kill a mockingbird. - Homer Simpson

Posted by: Mark on October 22, 2005 4:44 PM

Well done! More people should have the courage to say what they honestly think of modern classics.

Posted by: Gimpy Mumpy on October 22, 2005 7:10 PM

My favorite was the review of Lord of the Flies. Some people just shouldn't read books.

That said, Catcher in the Rye is awful.

Posted by: Abby on October 23, 2005 8:44 AM

I see that you ALSO didn't open for comments your Katamari Demoracy post but I have been laughing my arse off over it for hours. My kids are addicted to Katamari and I can imagine only too well the scene you describe. Bwa ha ha. My spousal unit and I very much like your site. Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: Polli on October 23, 2005 10:36 PM

In 11th grade English our teacher gave us a list of books for the semester, and we had to read four off the list and do papers on them. We could also read and do papers on books that weren't on the list as long as we got the teacher's approval. I was not allowed to get credit for reading "Dracula", as it apparently is not a "classic". Read it anyway. Showed her.

In one of my college literature courses, I had to write a paper on the symbolism in "Frankenstein" that Mary Shelley used to foreshadow Dr. Frankenstein's grasp for and subsequent fall from divinity. In one place in the book, Dr. Frankenstein is looking out the window and sees an oak tree get hit by lightning, so I wrote how the Druids thought the oak tree was the tree of the gods. My professor, who didn't have a basic grasp of even Greek/Roman mythology, wrote "This is very interesting, I never knew this. However, it is incorrect." Apparently all of the symbolism in "Frankenstein" has been strictly defined and any deviation from the norm is forbidden. This despite the fact that, according to rumor, Mary Shelley was coming off of a bad drug trip when she wrote it and the symobolism could mean pretty much anything.

I've pretty much sworn off of the "classics" since.

Posted by: C. on October 24, 2005 5:16 AM


maybe the author of frankenstein had some understanding of druid mythology, but perhaps your teacher knew otherwise.

its fine that the book acts as a rorschach for the reader, but as a book in history, i'm sure the teacher was trying to outline the elements shelly used to craft the book and not so much provide a free expression of what symbolism a student sees.

it can be very interesting to see what elements an artist brings together to create their artwork; and those things may not necessarily have anything to do with you or your perception of them.

don't give up on the classics yet.

Posted by: powers on October 24, 2005 9:35 AM

'The Root Of Evil' - thank you. I needed a laugh and you made me laugh hard. Sorry I'm commenting on a different post, but I coudln't not comment.

Posted by: wetwebwork on October 24, 2005 11:59 AM

And all this time I thought I was one of the only people who found these kind of reviews amusing.

Posted by: Fred on October 24, 2005 1:19 PM

As a lit major, I can only say that the unwashed masses aren't wrong about Virginia Woolf.

Their take on Faulkner and Hemingway has its merits, too.

In fact, a number of these I suspect of being written by bitter English students.

Oh, and by the way: "On the Road?" It IS overrated. "Dr. Sax" is much, much better. Or if you really want to sob your f***ing eyes out, read "Visions of Gerard" or "Big Sur."

Posted by: Carny Asada on October 24, 2005 8:02 PM


If you can point me to a critique or analysis of "Frankenstein" written by Mary Shelley herself, in which she explains all of the symbolism and devices that she used in writing the book, I will gladly revise my opinion of my Literature professor.

When I hear the word "classic" associated with a book, my knee-jerk reaction is "book that is being forced down some poor kid's throat by an English teacher as we speak". The ones that I actually enjoyed reading were "Ivanhoe" and the Divine Comedy, because I have an interested in Medieval history. "Dracula" would have been great because I also have an interest in mythology and folklore (granted Bram made some stuff up). I think kids would be much better served if teachers would find out what they are actually interested in and focusing on that, rather that dictating from on high "You WILL read The Scarlet Letter! You WILL read To Kill A Mockingbird!" And then they wonder why kids don't want to read. What I remember of those two mostly is "boring books that made me long for escape within the first 30 pages". By the way, those are my own opinions and I mean no disrespect to anyone who actually does like those two.

Posted by: C. on October 25, 2005 5:34 AM

Amen and hear! hear! C.
Thanks Yeti for the laughs. I will treasure always the reviewer who wrote:
'This is the worst book I ever read, I got to p 3-4'.

I am not a Lit Major but I know if I start page 1 and can put it down without reading on, then it is not 'good'.

Posted by: brownie on October 26, 2005 4:37 AM