Authors and their Soups

So we all love the Great Writers, right? And we all love soup, right? RIGHT! Thus...this post. 

Ernest Hemingway's soup: water. None of that fancy-schmancy crap! 

Herman Melville's soup: brine-y with a heaping tbsp of pepper. Make that the whole pepper shaker.


Better Endings for Classic Texts

1. Death in Venice by Thomas Mann- Ol' Gussie thinks to himself, "hmm, that Tadzio is pretty smokin', but he's just not worth kicking the bucket for- I'd rather avoid cholera or malaria or whatever and find me some other smokin' thing," and leaves Venice on the next boat. So simple!

2. Paradise Lost by John Milton- God thunders, "yo, you guys broke the rules, outta my garden!" and Adam and Eve are like, "oh, man, we're super sorry, God, um, if we trim some animals' claws and tidy up a bit around here, could we maybe stay? Cause we're REALLY sorry. Won't happen again." And God's like, "wellllllll.....ok, one more chance. But I'm watching you." Adam and Eve clean their hut up and take care of the animals better and they get to keep their chill digs.

3. Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens- After Amy and Arthur finally declare their love, blah, blah, blah, and Arthur says "marry me, babe!" Amy should have said, "ok, cool, but first we have to go all around the town and beat the crap out of all the people who treated us like dog poop," and Arthur's like, "rockin'!" and they kick some well-deserved ass. The End.

4. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie- Poirot did it! (Figure that one out!)

5. The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann- Hans finds out that World War I is going down and decides, eh, he'd really rather not do that whole killing/maiming/shooting/gassing thing and just stays at the sanitorium with his cuz Joachim, sipping lemonade and checkin' out that hot Claudia Chaucat chick.


Literary Theory for the Rest of Us

(yes, these are meant to be funny. No, I wasn't trying to offend anyone. Etc. etc. etc.)

Formalism- The text spontaneously descended from Heaven and all we have to do to understand it is read it and analyze its form, cause clearly context can tell us nothing, nothing at all!!!

Psychoanalytic criticism- The text harbors within itself all kinds of dark, mysterious, atavistic tidbits that tell us whether or not the author had a thing for his mamma, or something...

Marxism- The text features someone oppressing someone else, even if the text is just about two people sitting on a nondescript sofa drinking water and not saying anything at all.

Reader-response criticism- The text is what my brain makes of it, and if that means that Moby-Dick is about an elephant's quest for really tasty sushi, then so be it.

"And the Moral of the Story Is..."

1. Hamlet by William Shakespeare- Just make up your mind already, dude.
2. Anything by Stephen Crane- It doesn't matter what you do- the Universe still thinks you're super lame.

3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes- You can never read too many novels...oh wait, maybe you can...

4. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke- As they say in the Lion King, it's the circle of life, people.

5. Moby Dick by Herman Melville- When a big ol' whale pisses you off by gnawing on your leg like it's a chicken bone, go to physical therapy and seek emotional support from friends and family, rather than dragging lots of other people with you on a suicide mission to mess up that dang whale.