Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Fraternity of Critics

This may be unwise of me, but...

Under the shuddering frames of the giant presses they gather for the rite. They are hooded like crows. They invoke the power of negation. Before dawn an author will die the critical death.

Brother, have you brought the books? I have.
Brother, have you brought the cover art? I have.
Brother, have you brought the Black Index? I have.

Dry paper is our only food. Eat.
Red ink is the source of our power. Drink.
Vinegar sanctifies our commentary. Wash.
We who are faithful; we who are the guardians; we who stand at the gates are gathered here in the name of Literature.
We pledge to uphold the boundaries of fine writing and the exclusivity of the canon.
We deny the encroachments of genre fiction and the pretensions of graphic media.
We affirm that the modern novel is the highest form of Creation.
Let us review.

In the category of creative nonfiction. This memoir is soulless and reductive. The author appears to have spent his entire life turning over stones and listening to the radio noise of distant stars. We dedicate this sacrifice to the altar of Science Contributes Nothing to Civilization.
In the category of poetry. Mere gaudiness of language wrapped around a reluctance to confront the essential ugliness of self. Outdated romanticism and trendy eco-consciousness. We dedicate this sacrifice to the altar of Poetry Should be About Poetry.
In the category of history. A populist revision that grinds the axe of inclusionism against the stone of empire. The citations list makes for tedious reading indeed. We dedicate this sacrifice to the altar of History Must Serve the Needs of Today.

Brothers, rise for the final critique.

In the category of the novel. Ridiculously ornate language frames an impossible tale set in foolishly picturesque surroundings. The book postulates, absurdly, that time is circular and may be compared to a mythical animal. Submerged homoerotic currents lend interest to a narrative otherwise devoid of transgressive consciousness. We dedicate this sacrifice to the altar of Art Imitates Life.

We hereby judge these books unworthy. Let the covers be burned. Let the titles be inscribed in the Black Index. Yea, let even the New York Review of Books print nothing good anent them. Brothers, go forth and write unfavorable reviews of these books forever and ever, amen.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

1 comment:

Dan Gambiera said...

The ghost of Eddison will smite you for this.