Saturday Night Live Transcripts

  Season 25: Episode 14

99n: Joshua Jackson / *NSYNC

Let's Talk Books

Moderator.....Will Ferrell
Karen Holsbrook.....Ana Gasteyer
Kevin Henchey.....Joshua Jackson
Professor Carl Lenz.....Tim Meadows

Moderator: Welcome to "Let's Talk Books". Homer, Dante, Shakespeare. The great canon of world literature. Is it still worth teaching on college campuses in this age of multiculturalism? Or is it time we open the curriculum to other kinds of literature? With me, here to discuss the changing politics behiund curriculum in our colleges - from Temple University, Karen Holsbrook; Kevin Henchey, a frequent contributor to The Nation; and joining us from Yale University, Professor Carl Lenz. Welcome, all of you. Um.. Professor Holsbrook, I want to start with you. Let's say I have a child entering college next Fall. Will he be reading Shakespeare?

Karen Holsbrook: [ light laugh ] I certainly hope so. No one's arguing that we throw out the great writers. But, clearly, it's time that we open the door to other writers who are not often associated with the "great" works.

Moderator: Like, Zora Neil Herston, or Toni Morrison?

Karen Holsbrook: Mmm hmm. Also, Ida Paxton Freely..

Moderator: I'm sorry? I'm not familiar with her work..

Karen Holsbrook: The Yellow River? By I.P. Freely?

Moderator: Oh. Of course. I.P. Freely. Didn't she also write Lights Out at the Boys School?

Kevin Henchey: [ interrupting ] No, no.. Lights Out at the Boys School was written by a husband-and-wife team - Holden & Sharon Dix.

Moderator: Ah. Holden and Sharon Dix. I always confuse them with the East German writer - Lotta Cox. But are these the kind of writers we're talking about? Dix? Cox?

Karen Holsbrook: I'm glad you mentioned Lotta Cox. The Diary of a Hooker would make any new list of great nooks.

Kevin Henchey: Oh, I agree. But you might also include Through a Brown, Darkly, by Ilene Dover on that list. But something we really haven't hit upon is the relunctance to include Asian literature in this argument. I don't know how you could overlook one of the greats of the West - Stain on the Great Wall, by Hoo Flung Poo. Or, of course, there's always How to Make $30, by Chu Sum Wang.

Moderator: Okay. Well, that really is the meat of the matter. Do we include Chu Sum Wang? Professor Lenz, I see you're shaking your head.

Professor Carl Lenz: No, I mean, that's just it. You can't include everything. I mean, do we need Homosexuality in Irish Culture, by Michael Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzmichael? I don't think so. Last week I asked my students what they wanted to read, and it was Shakespeare. Not The Tiger's Revenge, by some obscure French author.

Kevin Henchey: [ helping ] Claude Balls.

Professor Carl Lenz: What?

Kevin Henchey: You're referring to The Tiger's Revenge, by Claude Balls. An excellent writer on par with Dick Gosinia, or the Greek writer, Harry Paratesties.

Karen Holsbrook: Paratesties is certainly on par with Balls or Cox. Absolutely. Now, I read a scathing indictment of drugs and professional sports, called Under the Bleachers, by Seymour Butz.

Kevin Henchey: Exactly. I think it's really non-fiction like this that we need to be looking at. I taught a seminar at Duke University, where we read Richard Sawyer and Alan Bush's fascinating study of voyeurism..

Karen Holsbrook: Mmm hmm. The Sawyer-Bush Report.

Kevin Henchey: Yes. Yes. And, from there, we segue-wayed into an interesting report on the Stonewall Riots, authored by Harrison Butz and Randall Dixon.

Moderator: Oh, I love Dixon-Butz.

Professor Carl Lenz: We all love Dixon-Butz. But does that mean we should grant them immediate status in the pantheon of great literature? I mean, what happens to Charles Dickins or Andre de Balsac?

Kevin Henchey: Oh, who cares? Really, truly? I prefer Dixon-Butz to Balsac. I mean, who wants Balsac shoved in your face?

Moderator: Actually, if truth be told, I can't think of nothing I'd rather do on a cold, wintry night, than curl up with a leathery, musky old Balsac. And I think we can all agree on that. [ everyone agrees ] Well, that's about all the time we have here on "Let's Talk Books". Join us next week, when we'll be discussing Venereal Disease & its Effects", by Maya P. Burns and Dick Hertz.

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