Peace: I did my reading last night while Linda and the kids were watching American Idol and I found that the reading was no longer a burden. No matter how much I wanted to see if Sanjaya would be voted off of fame island, it was better to join the Invisible Man in his trip into the “Brotherhood” and at the Chthonian hotel. In a strange way this brings me straight back to my other class where we read H.P. Lovecraft’s “The Horror at Red Hook,” where Chthulu was lurking. As I read Invisible Man I am swept up in all of everything. The novel seems to connect every thread of my experience with much f my reading. God, I really didn’t know what a cathartic experience it would be to re-read this book. Every word of the straightforward prosaic narrative resonates with something else in my life or experience. I hope that my students are enjoying it half as much as me.
Botherhood: I feel for the students in my classes. This is a lot of reading. Of course, it is college, so a certain amount of work is to be expected. However, I have a much softer place in my heart for what the students have to do to keep up here in my classes. I am not so self-centered that I think that my assignments are the alpha and the omega of their lives. However, in order to “get” these calsses they will have to do the reading and, more importantly, thinking. So in reading along with “my peeps,” the brothers of White Teeth and Invisible Man, I find myself in a fraternity. A brotherhood of people dragged away to these special places that the authors invented. We are, together, going through a ritual hazing of text that is a simultaneously private and communal experience. Like a movie we all read separately but see together.
Laughs: Now I didn’t know the first time I read White Teeth (which I am re-reading and reading at the same time) how funny it was. I want to just say that I don’t think I’ve ever found a kinder mockery of millenial theology than this. It is easy to make fun of religious zealots, but this book makes me root for them as I laugh at the ideas of rigid adherents to zany beliefs (I hope I am not insulting either of precious readers).
Hortense, her hair all wrapped up inrollers, tossing and turning in her sheets, gleefully awaiting the rains of sulfur to pour down upon the sinners, particularly the woman at No. 53. (33)
You can’t beat that with American Idol.