Tuesday, September 27, 2005


It wasn't at all easy to get into the seminar on creative writing held by the widely respected Professor Thomann. Most people waited years, even decades for their acceptance by the honorable academic body. Only a few succeeded before their 50th birthday - as was generally known - through special relations with the dean's advisory board. A not uncommon requirement of would-be ladies of letters - as the advisory board was of a generally male constellation - was the demonstration of certain physical talents as a prerequisite for the privilege of applying their intellectual-creative talents in the seminar. All this lent a somewhat stifling atmosphere to the seminar itself. Most of the participants had writer's block in the first hour, and those who finally overcame their handicap after month-long sessions of psychotherapy gushed their experiences to each other. Nobody seemed aware that Professor Thomann had not appeared a single time in the seminar. Nobody was surprised to find that none of them had ever seen Professor Thomann face-to-face, or even read any of his works. And so it was that none of them drew the conclusion that Professor Thomann was a fictional creation of the honorable board of advisors, one of whose members happened to be a great admirer of Thomas Mann. This was one of those meaningless job-training measures of the new administration, towards the goal of keeping over-the-hill intellectuals and unemployed female writers off the streets.

Story #286

Note from Indeterminacy: Today my muse wrote the story, and I translated it into English.

10 comments:

The Mushroom said...

Support Bingo -- Keep Grandma Off The Streets.

A neighbor has told me about writer's meetings like the one above. She's the only one who is actually publishing something.

The Mushroom said...

Oh, and I bet some of the people pictured own this:

http://www.strangenewproducts.com/2005/09/rejection-letter-toilet-paper.html

Jamie Dawn said...

You and your muse are two peas in a pod. You are both very good writers.

Alice: In Wonderland or Not said...

Never ends the way I expect.

I want a muse.

Doug said...

That was a great story. I was wondering if Dr. Thomann was a reference to Thomas Mann. And you still surprised me.

one said...

My muse is a mute and I don't know sign language.

still life said...

I love it when the endings have a twist and I didn't see it coming!

Indeterminacy said...

Mushroom: I guess I mentioned I took a writing class 10 years ago to improve my German. I really had no intentions or desire to write stories. I wrote a few for the class and that was all. Some of them were published in an online e-zine at the time (in English translation). Most of the other students were normal, but there were some strange would-be writer types who amused the rest of us with their crassly pretentious airs.

Jamie: I guess we are two peas in a pod. How can I contradict the wise and powerful Jamie Dawn?

Alice: I would love to inspire you.

Doug: My muse did all the work. Dense as I am, I didn't even figure out the Thomas Mann connection after reading and translating the story.

G.D.: But eyes are a wonderful conveyer of messages.

Still Life: I didn't see it coming either.

I'll tell my muse to come on here tonight and answer all these comments. Also, I'll post today's story around 6 PM EST, to allow this story a whole day on the site.

ariel said...

@G.D. ROTFL!!!

I loved the story, it made a boring photo hilarious.

Charley Atterbury said...

hey happy thanksgiving!