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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Among the Frogs: Chapter 1

I lived for a time among the frogs. There, I might have distinguished myself, as a man among frogs. I fully expected to. Yet I was never able to master the finer points of intonation and etiquette. A man trapped (for a time) in a frog's body, but without the advantage of having grown up among that peculiar people. I cannot say that they treated me with condescension, since such an attitude is foreign to them. In fact, their relative indifference to hierarchy might have been what prevented them from recognizing my own superiority. I couldn't even aspire to be a mediocre frog, since such a category did not exist for them. My lapses of taste (from their perspective, of course) did not inspire pity or disdain, only a kind of stolid complacency, not very divergent from their habitual attitude toward almost anything else.

I wish I could say that I learned something from my time among them. Humility? That doesn't seem quite right. I have never been a humble man and a sojourn among them was not going to change that. Patience? I was not anxious to leave them. Nothing I learned among the frogs is applicable to my subsequent life as a man, nor did my human superiority give me any particular advantage among them.


profacero said...

Vc escreveu o traduziu? Eu achava que era um conto de Augusto Monterroso mas n~ é. Se for um texto conhecido ... pois serei ignorante.

Jonathan said...

No soy el traductor sino el autor.