Chris Fannon

Literary Mashups #2: Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Giving Tree”

In Uncategorized on November 11, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Welcome to Literary Mashups! I’ll be taking beloved classic literature and re-conceiving it as a completely different author/artist’s work. This week’s entry combines Kazuo Ishiguro, author of The Remains of the Day and Never Let Me Go (along with some other excellent books that weren’t made into movies) with Shel Silverstein’s tearjerker picture book The Giving Tree. Are there any mashups you’d like to see? Leave a comment and I just might make it happen.

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ILLINOIS, 1964

I’ve been a stump now for over seventeen years. You may think that’s a long time to remain a stump, but it is without any false modesty that I can say I am quite good at my position. My roots fan out in a symmetrical fashion, making me naturally pleasing to the eye. My base is surrounded by a natural blanket of carpet moss, some of which has begun to creep up my sides. This, again, makes me both a natural beauty and quite comfortable, should a visitor wish to remove his shoes and feel the moss with his toes while sitting on me.

This brings me to the single most important detail, the one trait that becomes a point of pride for any stump with any respect for her position. I am, of course, referring to the top of the stump, the sitting area for visitors. With other stumps, there might be moss already growing on the top, making them too slimy for proper sitting. Worse still are the stumps that never lose the jagged splinters that should have come off with the trunk. These stumps have made no effort to make themselves presentable and only avoid being ground into mulch because they hope to be forgotten or ignored. I have taken the more respectable approach. My surface is smooth but firm, in a shape that dips ever so slightly in the middle to accommodate the natural contours of the human body. Many visitors have commented, after sitting upon my stump, that I am one of the most comfortable seats they have ever found in nature.

But back to the point at hand, concerning my being a stump for such a long period of time. I do not believe eleven years has been too long; after all there was a two hundred and thirty-seven year old oak deeper in the forest who has remained a stump for some twenty-two years, ever since a storm tore her down and the people nearby used her fallen trunk for firewood. I do not pretend to know how the oak has gained such favor with her caretakers, after all, she has at least one unsightly splinter preventing her from being a proper seat. In my case, however, I believe that my abilities as a seat have contributed greatly to convincing Michael to allow me to remain a stump for such a long time.

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Literary Mashups #1: R. Crumb’s “Winnie the Pooh”

In Uncategorized on November 4, 2010 at 9:01 pm

Welcome to Literary Mashups! I’ll be taking beloved classic literature and re-conceiving it as a completely different author/artist’s work.

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This week’s entry is not recommended for minors. Nor is it recommended for anyone with any special childhood attachment to Pooh Bear. (Sorry Mark.) I’ll be re-envisioning the denizens of the Hundred-Acre Wood in the spirit of R. Crumb, creator of Fritz the Cat, illustrator for Zap Comix and early issues of American Splendor, and most recently, The Book of Genesis.

Literary Mashups #0: Cormac McCarthy’s “The Cat in the Hat”

In Uncategorized on October 18, 2010 at 2:43 pm

Welcome to the launch of this site’s first feature: the literary mashup! I’ll be taking beloved classic literature and re-conceiving it as a completely different author/artist’s work. This first post is kind of a cheat. This is something I wrote a couple years back (and already posted online here), but I’m putting it up as a preview of what’s to come. Check back in about a week if you want to see my first new post: R. Crumb’s Winnie the Pooh!

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The sun did not shine. Shrouded in cold darkness, Heaven let forth her torrential wetness and all hopes for play suffered a drowning death. They sat in the house.

The boy sat with Sally. Wish we had somethin to do said the boy. I reckon it’s too wet to go out and too cold for playin ball.

Sally spat. Sally and the boy sat in the house and did nothing at all.

Something bumped the door. The boy and Sally jumped.

They looked. They saw him step in on the mat. His cheeks were ruddy and whiskered and his fur was black as death. He was naked save for his white gloves and his tower of a hat. The hat nodded back and forth furiously. They looked and they saw him. They saw the cat in the hat. He asked them why they sat there like that and he said that he knew it was wet and not sunny and he said that they could still have lots of good fun that was funny. I know some new tricks he said and he said he would show them. He said their mother would not mind.

Sally spat. The boy said nothing. Their mother was out of the house for the day.