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I’m Seeking To Redefine Texas Manhood By Reading Foreign Novels In Public

I’m seeking to redefine Texas manhood by reading foreign novels in public. If you see a guy in Houston reading a book outside—That’s me.

I feel that when people see how confidently, and even brazenly, I turn the pages,  what I’m doing will sweep Texas. Public reading of foreign novels and being a man in Texas will become one in the same.

Here are some of my recent conquests–

I’ve read Malgudi Days by R.K Narayan. This is an account of a fictional village in India.

I’ve read We by Yevgeny Zamyatin. This is a Russian novel said to have been the model for George Orwell’s 1984. The story is about the terrors of a futuristic highly collectivized society.

In Texas we know that an absence of society and collective goals causes hardship as well.

At the moment, I’m reading Bread and Wine by Ignazio Silone. This is about Italian life in the time of Mussolini.

I will continue this public reading until I see a change towards books and away from trucks and football.   

Or, since I am reasonable, I would also be quite content with a Texas that embraces trucks, football and books.  

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February 8, 2007 - Posted by | Books, Texas

8 Comments »

  1. I have a similar program: once a month, I walk around Irving, TX for a few hours publicly reading The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, and occasionally reciting poetry to strangers.

    Comment by Amos Johannes Hunt | February 8, 2007

  2. I do believe I will pick up a copy of ‘We’ as it sounds like a book I would like. If I had not read this blog today I might have missed out on it.

    Comment by charley | February 9, 2007

  3. i’m trying the reverse program out in cincinasty. I’m driving my big rusty diesel pick up in an attempt to turn my hybrid, gas sipping car driving friends toward larger less efficient vehicles. i hope that by getting in touch with my redneck manliness i can inspire my brethren to do the same. getting a gun rack soon….. too many of my friends have broadened their minds with reading, travel and thinking.

    Comment by george | February 9, 2007

  4. Wear a kevlar beret, comrade!

    Comment by raincoaster | February 10, 2007

  5. I have a lot of respect for what you’re doing. I think you’re absolutely right; this city and the state will be better off if we leave behind the redneck culture and embrace a modern view of the world, with respect and acceptance of all cultures and lifestyles.

    Best wishes to you!

    Comment by Greg | February 11, 2007

  6. Thanks for your comment. Though please know that I don’t view anybody as a redneck. If people want to call themselves a redneck then they are free to do so. But I won’t call anybody that.

    My feeling is that while people–all types of people– may not be very informed sometimes, I do think that almost all people are able to understand and enjoy fairly complex things. I wish more people would take advantage of the brains they have.

    Comment by neilaquino | February 11, 2007

  7. Call me a dumb redneck, but hows does reading foriegn books define manhood. If you would like to be a man, be a father and a dad, have integrity, do the right thing even in the face of mindless ridcule. Grow a pair and do not ever back down when your right. Culture is a fine thing but that does not define manhood. Man hood is something real men know and recognize, it is not some value gleaned from the pages of a novel. If you want real manly influence hang around with a marine, or a preacher, maybe a man who works with their hands as well as their mind. Reading good books is a fine pursuit, but you might seek out real men to help you define your misconceived idea of manhood.

    Comment by william robert | February 12, 2007

  8. Well…could not one do all those things you mention and still read a few books? I’m sure you’re a fine person— But you do seem a bit threatened by one guy with a book.

    Comment by neilaquino | February 12, 2007


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