Cricket-man (with Comments)

Chuck Palahniuk (paula-nick) is is probably most famous for the book/movie Fight Club. He wrote a few essays on writing and posted them his website circa 2005. One topic was how a narrator could establish authority using heart or the head, emotion versus intellect.

Here’s a short example (all heart):

Cricket-man

I wrote a superhero story in 5th grade, “Fly-man,” an obvious clone of Spider-man.

Mrs. Clark had me read it in front of the class. It wasn’t supposed to be a parody, not that I knew what a parody was in 5th. Instead of ohs and ahs, I got hahahas. Each sentence written in a No. 2 pencil punctuated with laughter was a stab to the heart. I didn’t stop reading and the kids didn’t stop laughing. I looked over and Mrs. Clark had put a hand over her mouth to hide her chuckles.

By The End, my eyes teared up. I felt the heat on my cheeks. I avoided direct contact with glaring eyes, the grins on every face. I walked back to my desk and sat.

No applause. No encouraging words. No valuable life lesson.

… nothing but crickets.

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