Friday, June 3, 2011

Please help Cuttlefish; poetic anthropology

The wonder that is the Digital Cuttlefish has put out a request:
In that context--an atheist, invited to address a group of believers--what would you propose should be read? I would like to develop a database of relatively short pieces (there are some wonderful books out there, but they are clearly too long a form for the current situation) that anyone could have access to, to augment their own experience in representing atheists while addressing religious groups.

So I ask--what essays have moved you? What stories would you want to share? Don't limit this to well-known writers (but don't neglect them!); don't limit this to positive stories (or to negative!); don't limit this to whitewashed or bowdlerized stories, if the unvarnished truth is what moved you; the whole point is to have a collection of real atheist voices, that anyone could draw upon to demonstrate "what atheists believe" or "who atheists are". Be specific--not just "X is always worth reading", but rather "this particular essay by X is perfect."
I'm of course partial to the anarchists, but I'll have to think about which specific pieces would be suitable for believers.... The talk by Alan Sokal I posted about here might be worthy.

Speaking of poets, Adrienne Pine of Quotha is writing Field Notes Poetry. Here's an example:
A young man from a bad neighborhood
a friend of C's
didn't have the money to remove his tattoos
so he found a cheap plastic surgeon
had his skin cut off last week
wrists, belly, neck
so he could apply for a job at a supermarket
he didn't get the job
but he says it's healing alright.
I love the idea and the poems.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, SC!

    I'm getting some really great stuff, and as I get it, I have to keep re-thinking what it is I am really after. So, for now, I am casting a really big net, and seeing what all I get. The current thought is of pieces that, if spoken, would be no more than five minutes each. Sort of a Vagina Monologues, but atheist stories. I've seen some really moving stories, some funny ones, sad ones... but I get the feeling I have barely (or not even) scratched the surface.