That Sherman Alexie…

14 Feb

From “The Ballad of Paul Nonetheless” in War Dances

He sang without irony, for he was a twenty-first-century American who’d been taught to mourn his small and large losses by singing Top 40 hits…

Despite all the talk of diversity and division…Paul believed that Americans were shockingly similar.  How can we be so different, thought Paul, if we all know the lyrics to the same one thousand songs?  Paul had memorized, without effort or ever purchasing or downloading one of their CDs–or even one of their songs–the complete works of Garth Brooks, Neil Diamond, and AC/DC.  And if words and music can wind their way into and around our DNA strands–and Paul believed they could–wouldn’t American pop music be passed from generation to generation as easily as blue eyes or baldness?  Hadn’t pop music created a new and invisible organ, a pituitary gland of the soul, in the American body?



2 Responses to “That Sherman Alexie…”

  1. Kate February 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm #


  2. Jenny February 18, 2012 at 11:16 pm #

    Crazy about Sherman Alexie. I always remember something I read with my students about how he realized that paragraphs where like fences around words. Brilliant, simple stuff. I noticed you didn’t rave about his newest book. Why?

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