07 April 2014

Double Farce, or Hyperbole

It so happens that I don't spend a lot of time in the car. I take the train to the city every day, but I'm walking distance from the train station, so even if I do get a ride, it's not long enough to even bother turning on the radio. And because I'd rather read on the train, I don't listen to podcasts - it's not possible to read one text and listen to another. I kind of like the idea of podcasts, but they just don't fit into my life.

Not so long ago, I went away for the weekend, alone. Alone in the car for two hours there and two hours back! And so, I loaded up the iPod with "my" music, along with a podcast of sorts, actually, an NPR broadcast of Selected Shorts, specifically a short story called Country Cooking from Central France: Roast Boned Rolled Stuffed Shoulder of Lamb (Farce Double) by one Harry Mathews.

Certainly, one can read this short story, read it to oneself while sitting in an overstuffed yet shabby but comfortable chair, parked in the sunshine with a cup of hand-harvested Darjeeling tea, from the highly regarded Sungma estate, to hand. In fact, I found the whole text on the internet; whether it belongs there is anyone's guess. You might visit Texas State University if you are entranced; you'll find the Farce Double nested deeply in postmodern literature:

But for a better experience of the Farce Double, I would urge you to go the extra step, for if the original roasting conditions will surely exceed your grasp, a description of them may clarify your goals.

Do not pass go. Do not wait to find out who does for him what mother never did for her son. The only possible way to experience the Farce Double is to listen to the late lamented Isaiah Sheffer read it, with aplomb and perfect timing. It is a joy.

Be careful whilst you drive, lest you run off the road when the tears come streaming down your cheeks from the laughing.


S said...

Thank you for pointing the way!

De said...

Bwah-ha-ha. My husband will love this. Believe it or not, but this is how he translates recipes.

Listening, I kept thinking of his admonishment to "read the recipe the entire way through before beginning."