Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Literary Criticism

So after the Pillowfight Fairy finished her schoolwork this morning, she decided to write and illustrate a brief story.

For those of you who haven't been introduced to Pillowfight Fairy yet, she's not quite five, going on not quite seventeen. She has developed a certain self-consciousness about her artistic and literary creations, not wanting her parents or anyone else to see what she's doing until she has completed it to her satisfaction. (And even then she might not want to let you see it. As I said: going on seventeen.)

Well, here's the story she created this morning:

What am I, her father, to make of this? Just listen to the nihilism, the irony, the grinding hopelessness bearly concealed beneath that bouncy exterior? Who can escape the fear inherent in the idea of waiting, waiting at the bus stop, without one's bat, well after midnight*? Who can escape the malicous repression contained in the imperative, "NOW SiT AND SiT All of YOU"? Who can escape the echoes of the horrible realization of King David, or even of Oedipus Rex, that "I... i am THE BOY" and the anonymous, androgynous stick figure's dehumanized lament of "I AM iT I AM"? What answer can anyone give to the one who realizes there's no answer to the question of "WHo I AM AT All". And the other figure at the bottom of a deep, deep well filled with some unidentified but probably nasty red stuff--does it not draw upon the worst nightmares we all share, of a horrible knowledge that there is no escape?

And to top it off, we have "NO TuB TO PlAy". How very sad.

Well, we either have a budding Judy Blume here, or a Maya Angelou, or even--God forbid--a Vladimir Nabokov. Where did we go wrong?

*Note that that's a waning crescent moon low on the horizon, indicating sometime after midnight, but before sunrise.


A. Jean said...

Maybe she is reflecting Barry Bonds' misery at his realization his home runs are tarnished..? He feels he needs a time out to think this over. (Now sit and sit all of you.)

Wendy Power said...

It seems someone is in a lake of fire. Well, maybe a wading pool of fire. Is it The Boy?

Timothy Power said...

Um, I think that's the proverbial Ring of Fire that my last birthday card so annoyingly sang about every time you opened it. Man, Pillowfight Fairy loved that thing. Ever since then I've had about 15 seconds of Johnny Cash stuck in my head on an endless loop. Thanks a lot, Auntie Jean! :)

Ever re-read your posts and come across a typo that you somehow allowed to get published, even though you proofread the thing three times? I thought so! Happens to everyone who does anything on these internets. I find myself chagrined that I used the word "bearly". I don't know if it's a word, but if it is, it's an adverb meaning "in a bear-like fashion", and something that's "bearly concealed" probably means "Hidden in such a way that only a bear could have done it", which means, not very well at all.* Which actually works out well in this case, because that's what I was trying to say in the first place.

*--I'm imagining Winnie the Pooh's cautious contemplation, "You never can tell with bees."