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Don’t Ask Me to Explain This

April 23, 2015

Detail of 'Bug Martini' by Adam Huber, 22 April 2015.Here is a writer’s conundrum: Can you overdo the setup?

The answer, of course, is nearly always a resounding yes, but still, what if it’s not a magical alternate universe, but instead merely a joke? Is it sort of a quasi-neo-post-postpomo-inverse-mod irony by which one buries the punch line as a mere accessory, an asterisk, because the setup is the joke?

I only ask because, well, if the setup is, “I mean, if you karate chop a baby”, where do you go from there?

But I digress.

Well, sort of.

Not really.

Okay, how about this?

Here’s a writer’s conundrum … oh, wait. At any rate, it can’t hurt to check in with David Biespiel sometime that isn’t ten days too late for a bad joke, but that’s just me, and, well, my judgment is such that would bring you the bad joke ten days late. Never mind.

The following essays were delivered on Thursday, April 9, 2015 at the AWP conference in Minneapolis by David Biespiel, Rigoberto Gonzalez, Lia Purpura, and Wendy Willis. The panelists sought to answer the question about the complementary and competing pressures on writers who struggle to maintain fealty to both individual sensibilities and the demands of global citizenship.

And while Biespiel sets the tone with thoughts of a stroke, Icelandic phrases, and life as a dream before crashing in with a reflection on That Terrible Day in 2001, well, it isn’t all terrorism and the security state. Queerness, metacommentary, and ubiquity all make appearances, as does Wendy Willis’ consideration of eating fewer Pringles as a demonstration unto the greater good.

No, really, with a slate like that, how can you go wrong?

Oh, right, and one other thing. I don’t want to hear a word about the missing apostrophe in Huber’s title. Open your minds, people, and imagine a world in which that string of words makes sense without the apostrophe.

¡Apostrophreedom!

―bd

____________________

Huber, Adam. “Thems Frighten Words”. Bug Martini. 22 April 2015.

Biespiel, David, et al. “Fate of the Writer: Shuttling Between Solitude and Engagement.” The Rumpus. 21 April 2015.

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