If you haven’t yet discovered the highly entertaining, satirical series of blog posts “A Typology of Scholars” by that gleeful gadfly and Calvinist Marxist Roland Boer, it’s well worth a look. Check out The Encyclopaedist, The Scientist, The Unnoticed Genius, The Put-Downer, The Self-Seller, Big Fish in a Slimy Pond, The Snob, The Colonialist, The Politician, The Lord of the Manor, The Borrower, The Turbo-Prof, The Thin-Skinned, The Best Friend, Bitter and Twisted, The Intellectual Hit-man, The Legendary Pisspot, The Name-Dropper, The One in the Position of Superior Knowledge, The Chardonnay Socialist, Doceo, ergo predicabo, The Petty-Bourgeois Life-Styler, The Businessman, The Onion-Grower, The Seducer, The Grantsman, and The Wordsmith.
In his latest post, Roland (for we’re on first-name basis) discusses The Wordsmith, the scholar who vents their frustration at never becoming the novelist or poet they think they could be, by penning “literary flourishes in articles and books”. Like most of his other caricatures, my good friend Roland’s description of The Wordsmith is amusingly accurate – although, naturally, bearing no resemblance to any particular scholar living or dead. His description of The Wordsmith also reminded me of a curious feature in the comical, yet purportedly scholarly journal, Theology Today, known as the “Poetry” section. I sincerely recommend that section to any budding Wordsmith – as an antidote to their misguided desire to punctuate their scholarly prose with rhetorical flourishes and mellifluous sesquipedalianisms.
And to bring the discussion back to giants, here is one such poem, by “a retired college teacher and recently ordained Episcopal priest”, George Slanger (Theology Today 59.4 (January 2003): 620):
The Nephilim: Genesis 6:4
Just before the flood, the gods saw pretty
girls walking in the land, and summoned
them. And every pretty girl, thinking
mostly of what advantage she might give
her offspring, and not primarily of her own
pleasure (though not unaware of those hard
thighs and square pectorals), answered.
Of those deific couplings came
the mighty men that were of old,
the men of renown, the ones who went
bad in the usual sequence:
their imaginations first,
then thought, then finally their hearts.
When the rain had fallen thirty days,
and when those pretty girls, now grown old
and sheathed in cellulite, were weak
with paddling, they would not repent
but held hands and drowned in blissful
remembrance of what it was like
to be touched by a god in a private place.