With Continual Reference to Justin Kahn.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Guest Literary Critic: Hugo Chavez


Thank you to the Justin and The Concept of Irony for allowing me to speak to the American People on a topic which is so near and dear to my heart:Good Books. That the Justin would allow me to do this at the end of a week devoted to the banning of books, is a testament to Justin’s Fine Sense of what Waynce C. Booth would call “Localized, Stable Irony.”

I wanted to take the opportunity to mention several more must reads for Americans.

First, I have to plug a book I am very proud of: ‘Uncle Hugo’s American Bed Time Stories.’ These stories have been selected by me, Hugo Chavez, for their simple entertainment value and straightforward morals.

This is neither the time nor the place to get into debates that have been going since Plato’s Republic and Aristotle’s Poetics outlined what counts as good art (both books all Americans should read.) No, I will save that for my next book club at the UN. But I believe that the stories in this collection have all of the characteristics that bed time stories should have: a sense of luminous wholeness, intertextuality that reminds us of our literary tradition and of course references to generative grammar.

Second, 'The Adventures of Huck Finn' and I would very much recommend reading the new Vintage edition. The good folks at Vintage have asked me to write a preface and in it I discuss the significance of the book for the American People. While the influence of the New Historicism on my methods is obvious, I do think the little essay I wrote (342 pages) will be invaluable reading for any American who wants to understand American humor in its historical context.

Finally, I am very disappointed that I am not able to recommend the McSweeney's Book of Lists. Perhaps the most essential list the American people could read has not been included.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boycot CITCO!

Jenn said...

By the pricking of my thumbs
I smell sulphur, the devil comes...

You gotta love that Chavez!

Pepper Medley said...

Chavez: respected new Vintage book critic or shapeshifting sock from Justin's floor?

One is lethal, the other laughable. I'm just not sure I can tell them apart.

QuillDancer said...

Hugo, pronounced, you go. I wish he would.

Comrade Kevin said...

Whaaa? "Garfield: Life in the Fat Lane" wasn't on his list? What kind of American is he!?!

Oh.. wait.. yea... nevermind.

Comrade Kevin said...

Whew, I found it on McSweeny's book of lists! Hugo's Favorite Garfield books:

1. Garfield: American Fat Cat #1
2. Garfield: Life in the Fat Lane
3. Garfield: Hedgemony or Survival
4. Garfield Collection #34: James A. Garfield - The American President Series
5: Garfield 2004 Wall Calander: World's fattest despots

Finding Fair Hope said...

Very interesting that he also chose not to recommend the very lethal little tome Meet Me at the Butterfly Tree.

MechanicalCrowds said...

That's not real is it?

melanie said...

just visiting.

;-)

Jorge Gajardo Rojas said...

The next time invite Bush as literary critic.

Federico Perazzoni said...

Interesting....

:-)

Vodka Redgrave said...

someone please kill hugo chavez now!!! www.buyagunandshootyourself.blogspot.com

Justin said...

jenn, you should hear chavez on the structure of Macbeth. Really amazing stuff. He makes Harold Bloom seem like a critic who has never read Billy Shakes. Actually I don't know if Bloom can read. J.

Justin said...

pepper, lucky for you he is working on a book of poems. Maybe you can guest review it. J.

Justin said...

Quilly. No kidding. Chavez, pronounced. Shave E, Shave-EZ. And boy is shaving ez! j.

Justin said...

Comrade K. While it kind of hurts that you went out and got the Mcsweeney's book, which is like an implicit endoresment of books that don't feature me, I still have to say that I admire your second comment, and believe that I should not detract from it by rambling on and on, but rather just let it stand alone. J

Justin said...

ffh, I'm glad you could rip yourself away from your current work in progress to plug your first work. jdk

Finding Fair Hope said...

Plug? Moi?, If you visited my blog you might find a very interesting new project hinted at. And fodder for some new irony...just try writing like Gertrude Stein sometime.