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Monthly Archive for June, 2008

micro-cliff notes

Sent to you by wayneandwax via Google Reader:

Micro Cliff Notes
via The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan by Andrew Sullivan on 6/25/08

Literary classics in three lines or less. An example:

Paradise Lost

ADAM: Paradise has arbitrary dietary restrictions?

DEVIL: They’re really more like guidelines.

GOD: Incorrect.

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From: Charles Nesson
Date: Thu, Jun 26, 2008 at 7:08 AM
To: wayneandwax

what does it mean

To: Charles Nesson

it’s a piece in mcsweeney’s — a humorous attempt to sum up classic works in 3 lines or fewer — thought you guys would appreciate the milton one

To: wayne marshall , Fern Nesson

yes, but what is the message:

Hmm. I think it’s mainly a joke, but if you want to get all hermeneutical — though this is probably obvious — I’d say that this gloss on “Paradise Lost” makes light of the existential/ethical question posed to Adam by the apple by couching it in the banal regulatory language of the present day (“dietary restrictions”); it distorts as it makes funny/cunning Lucifer’s intervention in the Garden; and it reduces God’s reasons for keeping humans ignorant to a laconic retort. In a sense, it seems to dismiss all of the psychodrama that makes the work so great, but then again, it manages to express some of these characters’ essential characteristics, despite the great brevity.

Or were you asking something else?


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