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These excerpts were culled from documents left on Columbia and Barnard lab computers. We encourage our readers to submit their own digitalia finds to us, via e-mail, at [email protected]



reese’s pieces

After reading “A Vindication of the Woman’s Rights” I couldn’t help but feel somewhat confused about the mixed message.

Women have different body types and physical characteristics. Perhaps the largest difference is that women are equipped to give birth to children. While none of these differences to those of the males make the women inferior but what it does do is make woman unique, which is commonly referred to as feminism.

Many people claim the people do too much taking about racial
problems and not enough action, and others will claim that people
don’t do enough reflecting of planning.

It allows one to accept people not only from different cultures,
but also those who are different in social, economic, and moral
wayssss. Boooooo change this.

Great literature can be sexy.

Still, when I say literature is sexy I’m not referring simply to the way Janie Mae Crawford’s hips sway beneath a forget-me-not colored skirt in Zora Neale Hurston’s Their Eyes Were Watching God. Sure, we forget her not, but what’s infinitely sexier than her physical form is the caress of the words as Hurston describes a blossoming pear tree—a metaphor for Janie’s self-actualization. Think of Jay Gatsby tossing silk shirts onto his bed, that is sexy literature.

But as I read and reread, the satisfaction does not diminish; the stories do not become old, nor does the language wrinkle and sag.

This changed when I was introduced to literary criticism that, as it was practiced, was nothing more than high-brow pornography.

When I was eight years old I wandered into the “adult video” section of our local video rental store. My mother was talking to the cashier and didn’t notice my absence for several minutes, and when she did, she dragged me into the daylight by the hood of my jacket, blushing furiously at the store owner’s critique of her maternal instinct. More than a decade later, I can still describe the shocked faces that stared at me from the video jackets. The women were open-mouthed, predatory, and yet incredulous that I’d caught them in the act; the men were…well, I honestly don’t remember the men. I stared back, too curious to look away. Gone was the subtlety, here was pornography.

Before I took her class, I had acknowledged the occasional pornographic moment in literature, as one might come upon a sex scene in a movie, but I was always more entranced by the literary cinematography than whatever occurred between bed sheets.

It was like when the postal service introduced the Sacagawea dollar and no one told me, so I threw it out.

She thought I was shallow and cynical and had a mind with the acuity of a single chopstick.

To say that a sentence existed for stylistic purposes or to further the plot was to reduce the work, as though in porn a pizza deliveryman couldn’t possibly just deliver the pizza.

In its highest (that is to say, lowest) form, overdone literary criticism cloaks each nude, each text, in a burka—in theory. The new pornography, the literary pornography, has found it more effective to suffocate expression and language beneath a shroud of criticism, whereas pornography is too obviously porn. It bares all.

All we need do is un-tart the whore.

It’s much like the refrigerator magnets that allow you to dress a nude in several outfits.

Literature does not need a facelift. Unlike pornography, the stories do not get old because with each reading comes different appreciation and meaning.

They were tan boys with short haircuts, both younger than me. They were shooting paintballs at a stringy white dog wearing a homemade helmet.

I loved it when Phil drank. This tiny fat-man dance hid just under everything he did.

I walked in and Marianne was under the bed. I couldn’t see her, but I knew that she was under the bed because she wasn’t in the bed or on the toilet.


  1. Anonymous

    anyone else get the feeling that almost all of these came from one paper on pornography as literary criticism?

  2. katie

    hell yes, but that's part of what makes it so awesome. It just keeps going!

  3. Anonymous

    Perhaps an entire class was assigned to ponder the links between porn and literature?

  4. Anonymous

    er... with all due respect, i'm guessing the paper was on literary criticism as pornography, not the other way around...

  5. Anonymous

    actually, would anyone mind posting the entirety of the paper? you're leaving us hanging with these teasers!

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