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A Parable About the Superiority and Pleasures of Realistic Fiction


In the village of Literature there was a young man named Realistic Fiction. One morning he declared to his mother Mimesis that he would venture out into the world.

As he was making his way in the world, Realistic Fiction came across an elderly woman who was sitting on a stump crying. Realistic Fiction asked what was wrong, and was told that she was too old and too weak to gather food. Realistic Fiction offered her his box of Yummy Food, even though it was the last of his food. The old women took the food and as she ate it she became the most perfect image of Beauty, Truth and Justice the World has ever seen.

“I am Queen Lear and because you are the purest soul that has come around, I will give you the Sword of Stable Meanings When Understood in Their Historical Context. You must take it and return to your village. Soon, a great evil will appear and you will use this Sword to save the village of Literature. This will make you a great hero and give you the respect of Literature.”

So Realistic Fiction returned to the village of Literature. Everyone laughed at him, but he waited patiently. After three times three days, a terrible monster with three heads came to the village. The first head was a Television Set and the second head was A General Refusal To Think On the Part of the Public and the third head was the Reclusive American Novelist Thomas Pynchon.

The Three Headed Monster killed three people: Sonnet, Essay and Science Fiction. While no one in the village particularly felt close to Science Fiction, and most were surprised to see that Sonnet was even alive, there was a general sense of unease in the village of Literature because they felt anyone could be next.

Realistic Fiction, lacking the mental sharpness of someone like Philosophical Prose, began to realize that this might be precisely the situation that Queen Lear had warned him about. Taking hold of the Sword of Stable Meanings When Understood in Their Historical Context, our hero Realistic Fiction attacked the great three headed beast.

As he stabbed the great beast, it bled all over Literature, spreading its green blood of Apathy. The beast couldn’t survive Realistic Fiction’s Skillful Handling of that Well Crafted Blade and was soon dead. Very dead. As Queen Lear had prophesized, the village of Literature viewed Realistic Fiction as a hero and was rewarded with the beautiful Irony as his bride.

Together they had a child who is expected to do great things when he grows up and for whom, Dear Reader, you would do well to keep track. But the tale of young Sid will have to be told another time.

Justin Kahn’s blog, The Concept of Irony, is amongst the most significant being produced in the fourth quadrant of Cleveland Heights, Ohio.