Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Short Books for a Short Month

Incredible Brick Sculptures ~ Brad Spencer

Thanks to Chapel of the Good Shepherd for introducing
me to the work of this unique and amazing sculptor!

If you want to make some great artistic discoveries,
stop by the Purdue Episcopal Campus Ministry
and check out the Sunday Bulletins!

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Quick Reads for February

1. Dear Committee Members
by Julie Schumacher


Academic humor and satire at its finest. It has been a long time since I indulged, but this one is right up there with Moo, Straight Man, The History Man & My Strange Quest for Mensonge, and everything by David Lodge (not forgetting their forerunners: Hurry On Down & Lucky Jim).

Schumacher has concocted an hilarious set of memos to various nonsensical committees (also businesses and individuals) during a semester given over to a departmental renovation and construction project:

Ted, in your memo you referred briefly, also, to the need for faculty forbearance during what we were initially told would be the "remodeling" of the second floor for the benefit of our colleagues in the Economics Department.* I'm not sure that you noticed, but the Econ faculty were, in early August, evacuated from the building -- as if they'd been notified, "sotto voce," of an oncoming plague. Not so the faculty in English [aka Engli_h]. With the exception if a few individuals both fleet of foot and quick - witted enough to claim status as asthmatics we have been Left Behind, almost biblically, expected to begin our classes and meet with students while bulldozers snarl at the door. . . . While I am relieved to know that the economists -- delicate creatures! -- have been safely installed in a wing of the new geology building where their physical comfort and aesthetic needs can be addressed, those of us who remain as castaways here in Willard Hall risk not only deafness but mutation . . . One theory here: the deanery is annoyed with our requests for parity and weary of waiting for us to retire, has decided to kill us. Let the academic year begin!

Cordially and with a hearty welcome to the madhouse, Jay

*Under whose aegis was it decided that Economics and English should share a building? Were criteria other than the alphabet considered?
(4 - 5)

The absurdity mounts with each passing memo! Just one quick question -- does she really mean "Econ" or does she mean "Finance"? Of course, to fully appreciate Dear Committee you should also take an hour to re - read "Bartleby the Scrivener."


2. The Thing About Life Is That One Day You'll Be Dead
by David Shields

See my recent Fortnightly Post ~ A Date With Data

3. Lolita
by Vladimir Nabokov

See my recent Fortnightly Post ~ Work, Play, Wordplay

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