RE: No Fishing!

From: Yocum Daniel GS 21 CES/CEOE <>
Date: Wed Feb 12 2003 - 13:13:54 EST

That epiphany, you know, the sacred bed pan scene, what's the deal there?


 -----Original Message-----
From: John Gedsudski []
Sent: Wednesday, February 12, 2003 10:56 AM
Subject: No Fishing!

The Anonymous Man, at 19, has, like Holden, experienced trauma early in his
life. This time it is a mother and the story has too many Oedipal themes for

me to go into now, and for this decision I am sure to gain some fans on this

list.What strikes me about this story is, again, the championing of the
curious. With this of course comes the condemnation of the pompous, grubby
moustache wearing and obtrusive professors. As mentioned many a time here on

this list, today's section man is tommorows scholar (American, typically)

. So what does that say about the scholars of today? They are the Professor
Tuppers of the universities, giving those all-important lectures on the
skills of sifting the detritus left by the Greats. Always wear gloves when
rummaging through that garbage, won't you? Remember to strive for original
research in your scholarship. You can make the next discovery.
Literary intellectuals in 20th century America are, to paraphrase Mr.
Bowman, like bald men squabbling over the possesion of a comb.
I'm an optimist and would therefore say the lot of them will be reincarnated

as dung beatles if there is any cosmic justice out there.
Go sign your life-long one year contract and keep praying for that grant
money. Forgive me, I am mistaking you for someone in the science department
working towards a goal. Don't tell us you've found, invented or discovered
anything, Dr. Manoletter. We can meet during your office hours and discuss
it then. At least the High School English teachers, have the job of
exposing students to literature for the first time. It might be abbreviated,

bowlderized, even, but at least they're not so damn snooty in the process.
The bulk of these professors won't appreciate the beauty in the text, since
they have long since sold their souls. Deep-down they know all too well any
lecture to other stiffs on a practice-theory paradigm on approaching
literature and that they will die in obscurity. No sane person believes
someone like Lacan or Levi-Strauss or Derrida or whoever the chic philospher

critic of the moment has literary significance. Barthes may be remembered
for a line (I'm no doubt butchering it here) such as: "A text is not a line
of words releasing a single meaning, but a multi-dimensional space in which
a variey of meanings, none of them original, blend and clash." When I read
this type of double-speak, and simultaneoulsy look at pictures of the group
of chain-smoking rejects mentioned above, I want to gather them in that
trans-Atlantic clubhouse they shared at Yale and put them out of their

To Hell with them all.

On the Other Hand,the Anonymous Man realizes his life as another
intelligent, but obscure man in the world is not good enough. He realizes,
after serious reflection, even at best (cooly or gracefully) his life's
accomplishments will be negiligable. The reason being he will be worshiping

a false God, material worth. In this sense he is relieved to have a student
who does not sign her name. She is humble, sincere and talented. Most
importantly, she is chaste. Our hero finds himself staying in a room next to

a couple who he hears having sex every night. His other students are trashy,

even slutty.

He tries to save Sister Irma from selling herself short but it is too late
because her destiny lies outside his locus of control. Like his teeth, she
is pulled from a useful role into one of nothingness. A point similar to the

happiest moment of his life, one where he meets his mom, after she has been
hidden form society for so long, and sees a man with no nose. Remember the
noseless monster of The Laughing Man, originally created by Hugo in L'Homme
Qui Rit. Only until his Experience (momentary union with God) does he
accept, like Seymour, that every person is cut off from others, "everybody
is a nun". Yet every person also has the possibility of spiritual
acheivement, since we travel "from one piece of holy ground to another."

Like Picasso, the Anonymous Man had to travel through the isolatoes for
resolve. Thankfully, it is only a period (for the artists, at least), and it

is eventually over.

There is the elaboration, although there's more to come.

>I have pondered your offering on the Pond altar and I can't find any fault
>with it, but the Glasses are another story or THE story. I did find this
>beneficial. Curiously enough it doesn't sound out of synch with Jim's
>Section Man essay. Could you please elaborate more on DDSBP?

Daniel, i am not sure what part of DDSBP you would like me to elaborate on,
but I'll give it a shot. To pick up where I left off, the disease you called

banana-fever appears mostly in children, particulary girls reaching
womenhood. I should reiterate the person is perfectly normal when they go
IN. So, young children appear, for the most part, exempt from the fever.
Maybe because they represent a pure consciousness. Or they can identify and
appreciate beauty without the filters so many older people, expecially the
hienous yuppie-intellectual crowd, utilize.
Perhaps JDS feels these hopeless thinkers are not at fault so much as damned

society in general. A society filled with people respected in circles for
producing a test-tubey paper on Flaubert. These are people who are corrupted

and evil because they go through life and never take the time to remeber or
reflect on what is important. Accumulation and deterioration all through the

tenured lives of them. Unlike Holden, a person who remembers so many
beautiful things in his life and cherishes them. D.B. has been in Hollywood
writing for soap operas for some time, but Holden relfects on his early work

like The Secret Goldfish. Sally is almost a woman by now and here he is
still bringing up those kings. SOmeone on this list posted a message on
neotony once and it articulated this a lot better than I am attempting to do

here. Even people, who may not have been beautiful, Holden still misses. So
in this sense, he does have bananafever because he is no in a state of
depravation but actually is saturated with all the memories of people and
events He is so bogged down he can't fit out the door to re-enter society.
That is perhaps another way to answer your original question.


John Gedsudski
Adjunct Professor of Line Drawing
Yoshoto School of Fine Arts

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Received on Wed Feb 12 13:13:57 2003

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