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Read my book, TEACHING BEAUTY IN DeLILLO, WOOLF, AND MERRILL (Palgrave Macmillan; forthcoming), co-authored with Jennifer Green-Lewis. VISIT MY BRANCH CAMPUS AT INSIDE HIGHER ED

UD is...
"Salty." (Scott McLemee)
"Unvarnished." (Phi Beta Cons)
"Splendidly splenetic." (Culture Industry)
"Except for University Diaries, most academic blogs are tedious."
(Rate Your Students)
"I think of Soltan as the Maureen Dowd of the blogosphere,
except that Maureen Dowd is kind of a wrecking ball of a writer,
and Soltan isn't. For the life of me, I can't figure out her
politics, but she's pretty fabulous, so who gives a damn?"
(Tenured Radical)

Monday, July 30, 2007

Just Announced:

This year's Bulwer-Lytton bad writing contest winners. Here are the ones that made me laugh (your results may vary).

Danny, the little Grizzly cub, frolicked in the tall grass on this sunny Spring morning, his mother keeping a watchful eye as she chewed on a piece of a hiker they had encountered the day before.
[Children's Literature]

She'd been strangled with a rosary -- not a run-of-the-mill rosary like you might get at a Catholic bookstore where Hail Marys are two for a quarter and indulgences are included on the back flap of the May issue of "Nuns and Roses" magazine, but a fancy heirloom rosary with pearls, rubies, and a solid gold cross, a rosary with attitude, the kind of rosary that said, "Get your Jehovah's Witness butt off my front porch."
[Detective Fiction]

Marilyn's main feature was her mountainous breasts, with an associated sharp ravine of cleavage--the breasts not awesome like Everest, but like one of the Highland peaks near Balquhidder, where the notorious outlaw Rob Roy spent his last days.
[Purple Prose]

The moon rose in the east, a thin, yellow sliver like a fingernail ripped off with a jagged edge that goes to the quick and hurts like the dickens, making Selena wince as she looked on from Dirk's strong embrace and, recalling the last time she clutched at something so hard she broke a nail, brooded as she remembered that tomorrow was her annual pap smear.
[Purple Prose]

Karl awoke with a start, his heart pounding away like a drum, not a well mannered tympani such as one might hear in a Boston Pops rendition of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" but rather more like a snare drum in the hands of Terry Bozzio during the time when he was performing with Frank Zappa.
[Purple Prose]

He held her desperately in his arms and stroked her silken hair, and as he drew her full red lips to his, he ravenously smothered her with lots of smooches.

Ruthanne felt as though she was frozen in time, staring into Steve's eyes, deep turquoise pools of Tidy-Bowl blue, reflecting back the deep passionate love that Ruthanne felt in her heart because Steve certainly didn't feel anything, being in a coma as he was, so what Ruthanne had reflected back to herself was what she herself felt, bouncing off Steve's eyes, because there was absolutely zip going on behind those eyes.

"So that was your Earth emotion 'love'," gasped Zyxwlyxgwr Noopar, third in line to the holo-throne of S-6, as he hosed down his trunk and removed the shallots.
[Science Fiction]

Slim pulled the branding iron away from the yearling's seared flank and looked up to see Tuffy Edwards, the boss's daughter, trotting towards him on her sorrel mare, Brandi, wearing absolutely nothing but tight blue jeans and a green tank top---her gi-normous, heaving, unrestrained hooters resembling nothing so much as a pair of fat Charolais heifers trying to beat each other through a loading chute.


The poetry teacher's bullet-riddled body lay sprawled on the verandah floor like a patient etherized upon a table.