After looking back at some of the embarrassing language I use in my review of Irreantum 9.2/10.1 — words like “trinket” and “cul-de-sacs of meaning” — it occurs to me that I should just get all these failed metaphors of the failure of Mormon letters out of my system now so I won’t plaque you with them in the future.
So here it goes:
1. Mormon literature is like that Kafka quote about the axe and the frozen sea, except with a tub of Jello and a rubber mallet instead.
2. Mormon poetry is like the cute but slightly overweight girl (or guy) you meet at youth conference and end up hanging with the whole weekend and then make sure to dance with several times at every stake and multi-stake dance that year, but never contact or really even think about in between dances.
3. Mormon genre fiction is like a cheap knock-off of a counterfeit Louis Vuitton bag.
4. Mormon literature isn’t athletic enough to be a jock, emo enough to be a freak, funky enough to be ethnic, or well-dressed enough to be preppie.
5. Mormon creative non-fiction is like the overt overuse of alliteration in a conference talk.
6. Mormon journals are like the people at work who always bug you with “we need better lines of communication” or “well, has everyone gone over the business plan” or “we need to rewrite our mission and vision” or “we’re still looking for volunteers to be emergency building coordinators” or “want to sign up for our potluck/fun run/food drive” or “how will this lead to greater synergy in the organization.”
7. Mormon short stories are like that woman at work who still thinks her first generation pink Motorola Razr is cool.
8. Mormon bloggers are like the kid in the back of your first grad school class that gives every single text and every single discussion a Marxist/Lacanian/Feminist/Jungian/Reader Response reading.
9. Mormon novels are the Trader Joe’s of the world of crafted, sourced gourmet food. Or maybe Cost Plus World Market is better because Trader Joe’s has some humor in the way it markets.
10. Mormon literature is that turquoise and coral bead necklace your aunt gave for Christmas one year that you really want to like and maybe even wear, but for some reason it just stays at the bottom of your jewelery box and gets tangled up with the Young Womanhood Recognition Medallion and the cheap charm bracelet your first boyfriend gave you.
11. Mormon film is like that one time you and your companion taught the first discussion to a couple that were clearly not married, not interested and most likely stoned.
12. Mormon criticism is that one guy in IT who is a major Linux/open source enthusiast/evangelist in an organization that uses Microsoft everything.
13. Mormon literature is klezmer without the Jewish history and Gypsy-ness, polka without the irony, speed metal without the virtuoso guitar work, twee pop without the hip pop cultural references, post-punk without the politics, modern R&B without the AutoTune.
Okay, I think I’m done. Feel free to add your own.