Shimer College

June 27, 2014

What Book Would You Jettison Into Space For Aliens To Read About The Human Race, And Why?

And other questions answered by a Shimer student
Name Melanie Decelles
Age: 24
Year: Second Year
Major: Humanities/Social Sciences
Hometown: Chicago


In the event of a zombie apocalypse, which writer(s) from the Shimer curriculum would you want on your team, and why?

Machiavelli. The only way to win against the hordes of the undead is to outsmart them. The best person to have in that situation would be Machiavelli.

Pick three authors from the curriculum to kiss, marry, or kill.

Kiss: Elizabeth Cady Stanton

Marry:  Simone de Beauvoir

Kill: Hegel

What book would you jettison into space for aliens to read about the human race, and why?

Les Miserables. We do awful things to each other but are also capable of great beauty. The beauty of the text along with the horror of what we can do to each other will give them an accurate picture of the human race.

If you could swap bodies with any author in the curriculum for a day, who would you choose, and why?

Kafka. For just one day I want to be that crazy and that brilliant.

If you could have dinner with any two authors from the curriculum, who would they be and why?

Langston Hughes and Edna St. Vincent Millay. As a writer, I just want to talk to them about poetry and how they approach their writing.

If you could add any author to the curriculum who would they be and why?

Gloria Anzaldua. We slowly work ourselves around to noticing who is consistently left out of the dialogues we read but then we still read very few women of color in the core. Anzaldua writes with insight and passion about the role of women of color in America and broadens the horizon of everyone who reads her work.

What would you be the patron saint of?

Stage Fright. But an image of me would keep you safe from it.

If you had to enter a competition for the “Most Uselessly Unique Talent”, what would your talent be?

I am double-jointed in my fingers and toes.

What punctuation mark best describes your personality? Why?

An exclamation point! Because! Be excited! You only live once!

What is your favorite quote?

“I meant what I said, I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful one-hundred percent.” –Dr. Seuss