I finally got into that English Literature 1701 class on Wednesday nights. It’s modern literature. So for we have read five short stories and watched one movie. It’s like high school all over again!
Movie: Modern Times by Charlie Chaplin
“The Killers” by Ernest Hemingway
“That Evening Sun Go Down” by William Faulkner
“Here We Are” by Dorothy Parker
“Crazy Sunday” by F. Scott Fitzgerald
“Greenleaf” by Flannery O’Connor
So far so good: all but the Hemingway were new to me. We also get to read the J. D. Salinger anthology “Nine Stories,” “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” by Ken Kesey, “Sula” by Toni Morrison, “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf, and “The Remains of the Day” by Kazuo Ishiguro. There will also be handouts and more assignments from the “Best American Short Stories of the Century” as edited by John Updike.
So far I have barely cracked open my level of wiseassery, but that tired silence of nineteen year olds who don’t give a crap makes me want to take a nap. Do I wait to contribute until I have something important to say? Do I wait for the professor to pose that question that hangs in the air for hours before crushing me into my seat with a blanket of lead?
“The sandwiches illustrate the humanity of these otherwise inhumane killers! They have to eat, and if they have to eat, they have to poop, and bleed, and love and laugh and cry and they don’t really want to be killers but society has FORCED THEIR HANDS ONTO THE HANDLES OF THEIR PISTOLS AND NOW THEY MUST FULFILL THEIR FATES! Kill! Kill! Kill that Swede right there in the diner, or his bed, or wherever you must, for it is his time and yours: you die when you kill, bit by bit and…”
Well, anyway, that’s what I said, but we had already moved on to Dorothy Parker’s short story about newlyweds, so it was a little out of place. Actually, I’m not allowed to go back to that class, so I don’t know why I posted this at all.