When I read Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower in preparation for John Green’s latest season of Crash Course: Literature, I was first drawn by the Biblical parallel in the title. In what way was this going to be like the parable of the sower? Continue reading
“Forever is composed of nows.”-Emily Dickenson
Quentin Jacobson had been searching for Margo Roth Spiegelman, but he had yet to go on a journey. Like Whitman, he needed to travel across the country, become exposed, truly listen for Margo. He needed to experience and understand that paper towns existed all over, with paper people living in all of them. “The world is full of people,” he comes to say, “full to bursting, and each of them imaginable and consistently mismanaged.”
PART 2: Grass
“You shall no longer take things 2nd or 3rd hand…nor feed on the specters in books.”-Walt Whitman
Who is Margo Roth Spiegelman? Is she a popular elite brat? Is she a culturally hip closet poetry nerd? Is she a deviant runaway? Is she a selfish drama queen? Is she damaged goods? Or is she just a tangled up girl whose strings are broken?
“Doing stuff never feels as good as you hope it will feel.”
Part 1: Strings
John Green’s novel, Paper Towns, soon to be a film, can be read as a kind of spiritual parable. With the exception of TFIOS, his three other novels seem to follow a similar formula: Eccentric yet normal teen boy falls for unattainable and eccentric girl because she is such a mystery, and she becomes a puzzle for him to solve as much as a love interest to pursue. Academic references must follow. Were it not for the occasional sexual controversy, Green seems to be begging for his books to be taught in school, pushing aside bulky classics less relevant to teens.
“You’re such a nerd.”
I was one of those kids who was bullied from time to time in school, often because I fit the description of a nerd. And although I wish I could say otherwise, sometimes this bullying took place not just “in the world”, but in and among my own Christian friends.
Author and complete nerd John Green has some pretty sweet quotes. So I found some “posterizations” of a few of them, then made a couple of my own. And I just might put some up in my classroom. I’ve also included a few others for your enjoyment.
“The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
but in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
-Cassius, in Julius Caesar
This was my first cancer book. The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green, came out a year ago. Hazel Grace is a 16-year-old cancer patient who comes to terms with her terminal illness in a unique way when she meets fellow cancer patient and amputee Augustus Waters. This is neither a cancer book or a romance or a comedy. But it will behave like all of those. Green’s novel gives us tragicomedy in a way only greats like Shakespeare knew how.