The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Greater than Faulkner

When I was studying at St. John's College in Santa Fe I decided to take the summer session of classes in 2003, which turned out to be a very good decision. The reason it turned out so well is that our group of MA students taking classes that summer ended up really bonding and having lots of fun together. Grad students weren't allowed to stay in the dorms during regular semesters, since the undergraduates need them, but over the summers, they let graduate students move in, since many of the students are teachers coming in from out of town for a summer session while their school is out. The grad students that stayed in the dorms (I lived off campus) ended up being particularly tight and formed the core of the group.

One of the traditions for grad students at St. John's is the Thursday night gathering. After our Thursday night classes we would gather together, and alcohol and snacks would be provided (which were paid for by our Student Activity Fee). During the regular semesters, Thursday nights were a good respite from class and work to catch up with other students and socialize. But for this summer group, Thursday night ended up being seldom enough, and we frequently transferred the party to the courtyard in the middle of the dorms to go even later, and meet up on other nights for more drinking, talking and merriment.

One particularly late, late night, I was there with Gideon, Roxy and Tully sitting at the table in the courtyard with a bottle of liquor between us. Truth is that when I get drunk my veneer of quiet modesty frequently will melt away and I can turn into a bit of a loud, self-laudatory, self-aggrandizing showman who likes to be the center of attention. That night we got on the topic of writing, and one of them challenged my skill as a writer, so I, bombastically announced, "I'm a greater writer than Faulkner!" I don't know why I picked Faulkner, which was an odd choice, since I hadn't actually read Faulkner. It was just the first author that popped into my head. Gideon, who was quite familiar with Faulkner, dropped a reference to Yoknapatawpha County, assuming that I was a Faulkner fan and would recognize the reference, since it's the place where a whole bunch of Faulkner stories take place, but I totally missed it because, well, as I mentioned, I'd never read Faulkner.

I could never live down the "I'm a greater writer than Faulkner," statement and they made fun of me mercilessly for it, especially for my ignorance of Faulkner and his writings. I, of course, returning to my quiet, modest daytime persona was abashed and said, "I was drunk. I was exaggerating. I don't really think that." But secretly I was thinking, "I am a better writer than Faulkner. And I really need to get around to actually reading some Faulkner."

No comments:

Post a Comment