We Interrupt Your Normally Scheduled Program for a Public Service Announcement on The Ecology of Trash Literature

I cooked lobsters for the first time a few nights ago. Surprisingly it was not a scene out of Annie Hall. We steamed them in seawater with seaweed for fourteen minutes. Could be my imagination but I think the seaweed made a difference. We ate them out on the deck before the mosquitoes got too bad. Next morning I took the shells to the Ellsworth Dump and while I was there I stopped at the recycling center to check out their library. Every dump has a library. Nobody, no matter how illiterate, no matter how much they hate to read, wants to throw out a book. People will dump their pets and their children before they will a book. Books have to be one of the first items in history to be recycled. As a result, instead of tossing a book out with the junk mail, newspapers and corrugated paper (the true untouchables of print), people place them on the shelf in the recycling center for other people to read.

That said the dump is a literary graveyard. If a book gets deposited there, it has more than likely served its usefulness. It is unwanted, neglected, truly disposable. In short it is trash, junk, garbage. These are the books nobody reads anymore, the books people are embarrassed to own and do not want to be seen with, the books that should never have been published in the first place.

Looking over the dump’s library I was fascinated by the titles I found there, and I walked over to my car and got out a pen and paper to note them down. What follows are just some of the more interesting and representative titles. These are just some of the dead bodies of literature that inhabit dumping grounds all across the United States. These pieces form an epic multi-part mini-series in the spirit of The Thorn Birds or Sho-Gun. In fact, any mini-series featuring Richard Chamberlain. Chamberlain specialized in recycling trashy novels. He is a true sanitation worker.



Post a Comment