Thursday, January 28, 2010

Farting in Chapel: J.D. Salinger Dead at 91


We remember Salinger for the Edgar Marsalla moment in The Catcher in the Rye:
. . . then all of a sudden this guy sitting in the row in front of me, Edgar Marsalla, laid this terrific fart. It was a very crude thing to do, in chapel and all, but it was also quite amusing. Old Marsalla. He damn near blew the roof off.
We think deliberate farting is a lethal counter-example to Erving Goffman’s sociological account of flatulence as a failed “performance of self.” In fact, we’ve established the Edgar Marsalla Award to recognize outstanding deliberate achievement in the area of disruptive gas-passing.

Very crude. 

But also quite amusing.

2 comments:

Ed C said...

Avery,

I suggest reading Dan Jenkins novel, Semi Tough, for much more, much cruder, and much funnier material for this category. I would blush to include examples...

Avery Gilbert said...

Ed C:

Thanks for the tip--it's in the local library. I'm always ready to explore the malodorous outer reaches of literary flatulence.

Something tells me Henry James was a big farter although I'm not aware of his ever writing about it. And if he did it would take three paragraphs to describe, yet use no olfactory adjectives whatever.