Monday, December 22, 2008

The Alien Books

So I was looking at my books and I was thinking about how when the humanity dies out and the aliens come and start digging around, I hope that they find some of the good books and not just the crap. I got a little worried through because there is so much crap out there compared to how much there is that is truly great. I was lovingly caressing my copy of ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ and saying to it, “I hope that they find you.”

My hope as a writer is always to write one of those books that the aliens should find.

The reality is that the aliens are probably going to find a whole shit-load of Stephen King books (sad for us humanity) but we can HOPE that they find ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’.

I was thinking though, I hope they find ‘One Hundred Years’ and not ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ because – let’s face it – the latter is crap compared to the former.

And that got me thinking about other SPECIFIC things that I hope the aliens find.

For instance, I was wondering what work of Shakespeare’s I would hope the aliens find. The easy answer is HAMLET, but while HAMLET is fun and interesting, it is deeply flawed as a work and isn’t a masterpiece (if you disagree you’re probably in high school, Google: HAMLET, G.B. SHAW). Some people think that LEAR is a seminal work that is successful on every level.

I asked Violet, she has a theater degree after all, and she said two things:

1) She doesn’t think Lear works on every level and …
2) She says that A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM is the work of Shakespeare’s that she hopes the aliens find because is a play about the good in people and not just the bad. She said that it is a play with no real bad guy and that everyone ends up in love and what is better than that?

How can you not love a girl like that?

So anyway, I am considering putting MIDSUMMER on my list of things for the aliens. I’m not sure what else should go on the list because I’m not really certain how to define the list itself. People will make the standard suggestions: HUCK FINN, ULYSSES, PARADISE LOST, but I don’t know. I’m apt to distrust the standard suggestions. That’s part of why I like Violet’s reasoning for MIDSUMMER.

Anyway, I’m going to give it all some more thought. You should too. We will meet back here with our lists and then we will build ourselves a double-hulled time capsule and we will put a big blinking light on it so that the aliens will be sure to see it.

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