The Professor Explains Creation (Frag. 1)

Submitted by Ken Watts on Tue, 01/09/2007 - 14:50

The p dialogist is an interesting contrast to the jc poet. For one thing, she1 has a sense of humor. For another, she has a deep, and incisive interest in textual interpretation. In fact, one of the greatest obstacles her passages present to the reader is the fact that they assume a certain familiarity with texts which were much more widely known in her day than in ours2 .

Ed Wilde, Curator, The Gates Collection,
M. J. T., O.L.A.

The professor pulled his attention from his magnificent view of the beach, and refocused it on the student who sat on the other side of his desk.

He was tired, and would have sat down himself, but this particular student was particularly dull, and he needed every advantage to pry her mind from its particular sullen dullness.

"And what, exactly, is confusing you today, Miss.3 Simple?"

She was chewing nervously on the end of her pencil4 . He wondered why, if she was incapable of being bright, she could not at least be attractive.

"It was what you said in class today, about there being two creation stories5."

The professor heaved a great sigh.

"Yes. Although the first chapter is commonly thought of as the creation story, the second is also a creation story—as I explained. Together—try and follow this, Miss Simple—they make two creation stories."

Miss Simple considered this, while removing the eraser6, which had come off the pencil, from her mouth.

"I understand that, but why do you say there are two of them?"

The professor unclenched his fist, and attempted to smile.

"Because," he began, "One and one makes…"

"Two. I know that. What I mean, is, um, kind of, why they're different."

"Because," he answered in slow, measured tones, "because, they… are… not… the same."

She just looked puzzled. He took a deep breath, and tried again.

"The first story describes a process of creation through the spoken word—'and God said, let there be light…' you remember?"

She nodded.

"…and the second one describes the creation of the world through the metaphor of a garden. They are completely different. Does that clear up your problem?"

She was twisting a curl of hair around her pencil.

"Well, not exactly."

"Then what, exactly?"


1At the time Dr. Wilde wrote, it was almost universally believed that p (for professor) was a woman. Subsequent research has made this far from certain. -ed.

2For this reason, we will, at the end of the last fragment, provide a chart of the passages in question, outlining the argument of "Miss. Simple", which, of course, is the p dialogist's view as well.

3Miss.—a title designating that a woman was not a party to a partnership contract.

4Pencil—a type of stylus, for writing on paper.

5The Reference is to the first two chapters of the Judeo-Christian religious canon of the time.

6Eraser—The manual undo button on the end of a pencil.