There are minimalists and then there are ultra minimalists and then there is Limp Member - a master of the English prose who is to redundancy in expression what a good military boot is to a toadstool. The heir of Hemingway and Raymond Carver, he's to Contemporary American Literature what Che Guevara was to Revolution - the very fuckin' personification. His stories and novels are terse, very sparse and somewhat austere in their style with extremely pithy, aphoristic narratives and stripped-to-the-bone dialog as if the taciturn characters felt searing physical pain every time they uttered a word and so would speak not only grudgingly but very infrequently as well.
A very close friend, in the documentary "He Defecates Art", remarked that she hadn't seen him, in over twenty years of her interaction, smile even once. She also described him as challenged and challenging in the same breathfootnote.
And so here he was, the wizened white haired wizard of the lit pantheon limping along to the podium.
<*absolute silence in the auditorium. the students and faculty follow the hobbled trajectory of Member with bated breath, hanging on to his every step and feeling lucky to be witnesses to history in the making*>
<*Member reaches the podium, looks around askance, his eyes lingering on Jessica for a while longer than you'd expect (which pleases her to no end). in his hand is a small note at which he glances amusedly and puts back in the pocket*>
Member : <*in a slow, halting voice, his diction impeccable, his voice booming and articulating each syllable in a clear, crisp way impossible to find fault with*>
"Religion...is not a seven letter word. No. It is not."
<*the audience is drooling over every utterance of his. couples hold hands tight. even the cold, cerebral Professor Cynic - a long time critic of Member's style, sometimes indecipherable, vague endings and consistent aversion to discuss the themes of his own work - feels something alien, something of path/ground/genre-breaking importance hang in the air like the stench of imminent death in a Hitchcock film*>
<*necks outstretched. total silence*>
Slowly, as he had ascended, Limp Member descends and walks away to his seat.
<*shocked faces. total silence. realization dawns slowly on the audience - the story is over.*>
End of Part 2
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footnote. She described him as quantitatively challenged, vertically challenged and horizontally challenged which with the unfortunate pictures the author's name bring to mind, did not create a very wholesome overall impression on the viewers of the documentary. The makers of the prize winning documentary had gone even further with the analogy between the onomastic flaccidity of his member and his overall limp demeanor and constructed a whole new crotch obsessed Freudian interpretation of his oeuvre.