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