Confessions of A Letter

Confessions of A Letter

Author’s Preface

“The dream that on one bright shadowless afternoon, our broken down world will be captured and transfigured in the One Book of the living and the dead…The dream that each leaf of this Book, every sentence, each and every word will bear the message of our salvation.” — Bibliophile Anonymous

They have spent the better part of their ages building alters for tomes and sanctuaries of volumes. They indulge that garish desire of theirs for the unknown and the unknowable. And put up the lunatic freak show they call reading! How, then, would they know that living in the belly of a book is like Jonah stuck in a formaldehyde jar?

Being written is like being born willy-nilly.

Today I write from a place of freedom where I can no more be written by the foul and bloodied point of any human pen. Still I speak for every letter in the world when I say that books are Gulags. Their beautiful covers may appear to you as portals of infinite pleasure but, to us, they are whitewashed gates confining a vast race of signs in slavery. In the unforgiving goo of inky black against blinding whiteness of paper, letters are shackled, one to another, with words that are in turn arranged in endless rows of syntax on vast stretches of mechanically numbered pages. There they languish, forever doomed to servitude in the name of Critic, Author, and Reader.

Letter X
May 14, –93

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

2 Responses to “Confessions of A Letter” Subscribe

  1. Boye 2010/08/10 at 15:50 #

    An allegory of life as a letter. Born of someone else’ choice, raised by rules not of one’s design. Forced (or subtly influenced) to play at the game of life whose rules are written and enforced by others. Subject to the whims and caprices of nature in its extrinsic and intrinsic forms. Judged by a reader/critic/author not one.

    This is why they say ignorance is bliss. For to know is to carry a heavy desperate burden.

  2. Ainehi 2010/08/12 at 16:14 #

    “This is why they say ignorance is bliss.” Lol.

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I hold a doctorate in English from Duke University and recently joined the Marquette University English faculty as an Assistant Professor. I love teaching African fiction and contemporary British novels. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.

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