I do apologize for the delay. It was brought about by a truly staggering number of midterm papers. ”But how did you get stuck with them?” I hear you asking, as well you might. The woman in charge approached me with the observation that quite a few of the students had choosen topics (they get to choose nowadays, isn’t it fantastic?) related to my field and would I have a look at them? How many years have I been in this business, Rose? How can I not see when a trap is set, or even when one is closing around me? Anyway, I’m not complaining. Well, I am a bit. They are all very talanted and perfectly charming. But progress on our little project is temporarily postponed.
Now: On to your little adventure on the pulp-side. You don’t mean to say that you actually read those things? (Far be it from me to judge, mind, as we’ll come to in a minute or so. Provided you don’t skip ahead, in which case we’ll come to it in a second. Or miss it completely). They seem to be very much the thing they put in the window nowadays. But when did we ever go window shopping for books, dear? With the possible exception for that fabolous used bookstore where they used to do colour coded displays. Ah, those where the blissfull days. In a very Oulipo like fashion, choosing books by any irrelevant method of selection occasionally seemed the way to go, did it not? Nevertheless, as I can find no other reason for you to read those books, I can only assume that you were forced at gun-point. Are you quite alright, dear? Should I call the Yard?
Your point is taken as well made. But do you think we are qualified to have our opinion matter in this? Are we not too old? Too set in our ways and our views? I know people who think that the dominant hiphop culture demonstrates a total waste of emancipation. And I agree that there seems to be a lot of pointless materialism and misogeny going on in the louder part of that area. But then again, those same people usually think that the only proof of proper equality achieved is a black man with a posh british accent. What I mean to say is that this woman of which you speak may not be something to strive for, but we should perhaps be happy to note that she’s an option. The fight wasn’t only for our right to an education, you know, but for our right to squander an education, drop out of one.
There does seem to be common sense and decency lacking from many protagonists in contemporary fiction, I’ll give you that at least. Speaking of which: I was listening to dear Melvyn’s ”In Our Time” the other day, on radio 4. This particular episode was about the Sturm und Drang movement, with those passionate and unconventional young men who ended up with their knickers in all kinds of twists. Some clever fellow called the movement ”Hearts with testicles”. I wonder whether we could do something equally clever with this new trend you observed. ”Hearts with pierced nether regions”, perhaps?