Saturday, February 07, 2009

No, I ain't gonna work on the farm no more...

NOW READING: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

I should be saying a lot more about Ishmael. It's really grown on me. But not in a normal novel way. I give Quinn an A+ for his Philosophy 101 essay but I still don't really understand how (let alone why) he decided to make a "novel" out of it. It is barely, barely, barely a story. And there are barely characters. Just dude and Ishmael, with the occasional forced interaction with a janitor or carnival roustabout or something.

But I get excited about my periodic checking in! I look forward to my little nightly gorilla lesson. I am almost finished with the book, actually, and I'm eager to see what dramatic little exhortation will be used to send the reader back out to the world.

Most recently, Ishmael has taught the narrator and me about how the story of our civilization, our post-agricultural revolution civilization(s), were destined to fail. Ishmael has also taught us that we are totally misguided in how we look to the story of Adam and Eve as the meant-to-be dawn of our culture, when it is really more of a cautionary tale about how Adam/Cain/dominion slays the pastoral lifestyle... In fact, I have a whole deep thought to share about the meaning of food in culture, and of agriculture. But I'm tired tonight so I might save that for tomorrow. Tonight, it's straight from the gorilla's mouth.

"Whenever a Taker couple talk about how wonderful it would be to have a big family, they're reenacting the scene beside the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. They're saying to themselves, 'Of course it's our right to apportion life on this planet as we please. Why stop at four kids or six? We can have fifteen if we like. All we have to do is plow under another few hundred acres of rain forest -- and who cares if a dozen other species disappear as a result?"
--page 181

Funny, just today I was reading octuplets' mother news and caught a clip of Jon & Kate Plus 8...

No comments: