Malamud, Bernard

The Bill

A few blocks down from my apartment is a utility pole, and on that utility pole someone has graffitoed the following in black marker:

“Romanse [sic] is the death of enlightenment”

And I walk by this utility pole every day, and have made all sorts of teleological, phenomenological, and epistemological assessments of what this might mean, as well as just thinking about it sometimes. (It doesn’t make much sense! After all, enlightenment trumps death. And if you’ve gotten there, you’ve surpassed the need for romanse [sic] Or at least, I think so, but who understands all that anyhow?). But tonight, I think I get it! It’s not a misspelling of “romance” at all! They’re talking about FRENCH NOVELS (“romans”), which must be particularly girly if the affected feminine -e is suffixed at the end. Or, in other words, “french chick lit is the death of enlightenment.” Which makes sense, teleologically, phenomenologically, AND the rest of it. And so I offer you Bernard Malamud, not french and most decided not chick-littish.