Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Ineffective Methods for Teaching Children About Literature

Invite Umberto Eco to come to class and ceremonially shave and oil himself while babbling about hermetic drift and then splash the audience with espresso and Sambuca.

Play a looped video of Jack Kerouac and Gregory Corso bumfighting for $100 and a roast beef sandwich.

Let them witness celebrity guest Nicholas Sparks metamorphosing into a giant flaming skull that repeatedly screams “Worship Me!” in a high-pitched, plane-transcending meta-voice.

Make “William S. Burroughs in the Jungle of Yage” dioramas.

Have the children make authentic Roman soldier costumes and then invite them to crucify a bound-and-gagged Dan Brown.

Invite Jonathan Lethem to read excerpts from “The Fortess of Solitude” dressed in an Incredible Hulk costume while Devo plays free-form accompaniment.

Take them on a field trip to Tuscany, where they can help Frances Mayes install a third heliport on her villa.

Have children watch Robert Jordan and the re-animated corpse of J.R.R. Tolkien trade “yo momma” jokes in the Dark Tongue of Mordor.

Have Franz Wright lecture them on the basics of synechdoche and meter while continuously burning them with cigarettes.

Encourage them to watch a visibly strung-out Fernando Pessoa accuse one of his many heteronyms of plagiarism and then flailingly challenge him to “quit hitting himself.”

Bring in an authentic jar of Bukowski puke.


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