The following bit of paper was discovered in a storm drain in Iowa City on November 18, 2002. Scribbled in short-hand in the top right corner was the phrase youíve got to convince them and further down in the right margin whatever it takes along with a few other frantic scribbles. The main text went as follows:

Lecture One: Personification

Itís risky, and itís hard to do right. But worst of all, itís hard to remember to do it at all. Personification works because it forces the reader to imagine and project. As soon as I read the words ďsad blade,Ē Iíve already got this whole story cooked up about how some great warrior chef has lived a life of noble battles, how he has been forced on more than one occasion to choose between loyalty and friendship, possibly even having to kill the woman he secretly loved because of a tomato, how his armor is beautiful, but that he just lost his favorite horse in battle. Iím surprised the blade doesnít just commit sepulcher right now, or osso bucco, or whatever it is when they accidentally fall on their sword and call it suicide.1



1 Rule One: Never give away your sources. You thought of it out of the blue because youíre fucking brilliant, and nobody can prove otherwise. It has nothing to do with the fact that you just watched Ran last night followed by Iron Chef and then just read a couple pages of Thomas Hardy ten minutes ago while drinking a double espresso, which, incidentally, is the one drink that takes the fundamental question of why bother around the back of the shed and beats the shit out of it.


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