18 April 2007

Barthelme, My Darling

I have been working on two projects (and successfully ignoring a third) for the last week or so. One is a portfolio of all of the work I have done in the English Department at MCLA which is substantial. It's so strange to read things that I wrote even two years ago - they feel foreign.

The other is a presentation of a research paper I wrote last spring on metafiction. I have been putting this off for weeks telling myself it will be fine since I have presented the paper before and have been a teaching assistant for a metafiction course for the last three months. But now that I have finally sat down to do it (you can see how well that is going since here I am with you) I have encountered a problem: I LOVE Donald Barthelme.

His short story The Baby is amazing and I want to use it in my presentation, but it doesn't fit anywhere. I keep trying to find a place for it and I can't stop thinking of that sage piece of writing advice from William Faulkner: kill your darlings. But I can't. I can't kill Barthelme, even if it kills me, I just have to get him in there somehow.

I think I will end with him, admitting that I have included him just because I love him so much and that my hands were tied. They are tied, right? I mean, I LOVE him.

1 comment:

Annika said...

I am sure Faulkner did not mean Barthelme. Sure of it.