While I was a student at BYU, I remember hearing all about this so-called controversial professor, Brian Evenson. Do you remember hearing about him? His book, Altmann's Tongue, which a few critics labeled gratuitously violent, ruffled the minds of some students and faculty members.
I asked my friend, "What's the name of his book again? I need to buy it, like, ASAP." She looked at me puzzled, wondering why such a religious gal, like me, would want to purchase a book like that. I wanted to tell her I've always been the kind of gal who trades a "no" for a "yes." Like when the lifeguards at Hunt Park pool blow their whistles and tell me to stop running, I take that walk down to a jog. And when I'm not tall enough for the roller coaster at Six Flags, I stand on my tippy-toes, and when mi madre says, "Only one cookie, Katy." I stuff two more beneath my shirt.
I do say "yes" to obeying the commandments, though. Almost always.
The other day while I was in our study looking for a book on how to write a research paper without ripping your head bald in the process, I came across his book. I've never had the chance to read it, and so I opened the book and read its first line.
"He had that day found his daughter dead from what must have been the fever, her swollen eyes stretching her lids open."
"Oh, boy, have mercy," I thought to myself. Reading this story is way more interesting than reading about how to cite sources in APA format. "Brian, where ever you are, why are you tempting me with your gory story?"
He didn't answer me back, and so, I went to the computer to look him up. I've always wondered how his stay at BYU ended. Wondered if he had ever found a place to teach that was just right for him. If you're curious about his whereabouts, you can click here. A little hint: Brown University, Ivy League, hellou!
I don't know if I'll get a chance to finish reading Ultmann's Tongue; the gory genre tends to give me bad dreams. Besides, I have other books waiting in line, for instance, Anna Quindlen's Every Last One. Have you read it? Huh? Can you even put it down? But before you rush to Amazon, I must confess there are a few swears in that book. Now you see what I mean about obeying the commandments almost always. Pray for me.