John jeremiah sullivan essays

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john jeremiah sullivan essays

The best American, essays 2014 - isbn

First Corinthians, i said. That I said says it all, doesnt it? Okay, but what happened? Well, in short, sullivan gained his faith for the same reason he lost it: he loved how his young brothers and sisters in Christ intellectualized the ancient texts. But as they applied their grad-school fervor to the good book, sullivan began to read works outside it, works not on any Christian-youth-approved list. These books introduced new ideas, contradictory but no less reasonable ideas, and his faith began to ebb.

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Sullivan decides that if he wont talk about the music, hell use his surroundings the music festival itself to worth advance the narrative. And its here, halfway through the piece, as Sullivan listens to a band named skillet, that the story opens itself wide. Sullivan is shocked to discover that skillets lead singer is a guy sullivan grew up with. Sullivan, the reader then learns, was once an evangelist himself. This revelation is the storys gift, made all the better for how five long Sullivan waited for readers to open. And now we cant read the words fast enough. This guy, the one who just called young Christians little fuckers, this guy was once an evangelist? And this was once an evangelist business what happened? Sullivan takes his time explaining because by now he knows well follow him right to the core of his teenage self: he attempted to convert the masses wherever the masses needed converting. And as if to prove his evangelical bona fides, sullivan later breaks from his bio and gives us this beautiful snippet of conversation following an exchange he and the west Virginians have with a small band of girls, who are trying to tell the guys.

He took it away. What a concise encapsulation of ones character, and ones faith. Youd think that in an 11,000-word story sullivan would lean toward verbosity. I would argue he wastes not one word in this whole thing. Never is this truer than in the pieces discussion of music at the Creation Festival. There is in fact very little discussion of music at the Creation Festival. Sullivan doesnt think it worth his time: For their encore, jars of Clay did a cover of U2s All i want Is you. Thats the last thing Ill be saying about the bands. Hes lying, but not by much.

john jeremiah sullivan essays

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In Ohio he stabbed a man in the chest (the man had refused to stop pounding on Dariuss grandfather). Darius caught a lot of grief—your daddys a jailbird!—during those years. Hed carried a chip on his shoulder from that. You came up pretty rough, sullivans says. Not really, darius responds. Some people aint got hands and feet. And, besides, he adds: I gave all that to god—all that anger and stuff.

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john jeremiah sullivan essays

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Sullivan surprises the reader here. Thus far, he has been a sneering East coaster on an anthropologic mission to rural-most Christendom. The reader might expect him, now that he has at last confronted the natives in their habitat, to sneer some more at their simple ardent faith. Instead, paper sullivan gives us a touching, nuanced group portrait. The west Virginians know the bible cold and are something approaching biblical scholars and yet theyre rustic, too, living off game back in Braxton county and knowing which plants can serve as accoutrements to a meal and which ones can cure ailments.

Sullivan does not laugh at any of this. And he asks us not to either. In their lives, they had known terrific violence, sullivan writes. And here the sympathy for the west Virginians builds: Half of their childhood friends had been murdered—shot or stabbed over drugs or nothing. Others had killed themselves. Dariuss grandfather, great-uncle, and onetime best friend had all committed suicide. When Darius was growing up, his father was in and out of jail; at least once, his father had done hard time.

Sullivan takes pains to say that the Creation Festivals expanse is endless: I drove so far. You wouldnt have thought this thing could go on so far. Every other bend in the road opened onto a whole new cove full of tents and cars; the encampment had expanded to its physiographic limits, pushing right up to the feet of the ridges. He says all this for a reason: Hes setting up the next turn in the story. And the rv, that yuck of a set piece from the narratives first third, helps guide the reader through the transition.


There is no place to park his beast, not until a kid on a bike motions to sullivan to follow him up a steep hill, at the top of which, sullivan presumes, the rv can at last rest peacefully. But then the incline begins to overpower the 29-footer: the little bell in my spine warned me that the rv had reached a degree of tilt she was not engineered to handle, sullivan writes. And the only thing to save him  and untold hundreds of Christians below  is a man with a thick west Virginian accent shouting at him to jack the will to the rot while braking hard. So sullivan jacks the wheel to the right, breaks hard, and the vehicle stops. Then the voice tells him to hit the gas on three and, miraculously, the old girl grinds upward again, with some freakishly powerful beings pushing from behind. Soon, the rv mounts the hill and the voice and freaky-strong things identify themselves: Darius, jake, ritter, josh, bub, and pee wee, all in their early 20s, all from West Virginia and all, as Ritter tells Sullivan, on fire for Christ.

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I couldnt listen, because listening would mean accepting it as real, though his casual mention of the vast blind spot in the passenger-side mirror squeaked through, as did his description of the extra two feet on each side—the bulge of my living quarters—which I wouldnt. Debbie followed us with a video xmas camera, for insurance purposes. I saw my loved ones gathered in a mahogany-paneled room to watch this footage; them being forced to hear me say, what if I never use the toilet—do i still have to switch on the water? It is so much fun to read a john Jeremiah Sullivan story. And for a great while for about 2,500, words in fact thats what Upon This Rock is: fun. We learn of Sullivan screaming, no! As he merges onto the pennsylvania turnpike; of heavy traffic and idling vehicles miles before the Creation exit and the girl one car over blowing crisp notes on a rams horn; of Sullivans eventual entrance into the festival and the great throngs of Christians tens. moving about him and the rv, the vast majority of them under the age of 18 and all but, say, four of them white.

john jeremiah sullivan essays

She was a lot to love, sullivan writes, with a face as sweet as birthday cake beneath spray-hardened bangs. (do you not immediately know this woman?) meanwhile, the inside of the rv, smelled of spoiled vacations and amateur porn shoots wrapped in motel shower curtains and left in the sun. Outside, a man named Jack helps Sullivan inspect everything else: we toured the outskirts of my soon-to-be mausoleum. Every single patron thing Jack said, somehow, was the only thing Id need to remember. White water, gray water, black water (drinking, showering, le devoir). Heres your this, never ever that. Grumbling about weekend warriors.

upon, his day-to-day shitstorms with ease. Here he is after realizing that, gQ booked him an rv, the only rental available within 100 miles of the festival: The reason twenty-nine feet is such a common length for RVs, i presume, is that once a vehicle gets much longer, you need. That would mean forms and fees, possibly even background checks. But show up at any rv joint with your thigh stumps lashed to a skateboard, crazily waving your hooks-for-hands, screaming you want that twenty-nine-footer out back for a trip to you aint sayin where, and all they want to know is: Credit or debit, tiny. He keeps it coming. The employee who rings up the 29-footer is a woman named Debbie.

As the writer paul Metcalf put it, The only universities real work in creative endeavor is to keep things from falling together too soon. Bear that in mind, because were about to consider. Upon This Rock, a, gQ story that ive read probably 15 times since it was published in 2004. It is not only sullivans signature piece but also a great example of a writer having patience, revealing what he truly wants to say only at the appropriate moment, which in this case comes about halfway through the piece. Sullivan is much too smart to work within the shadows of an inverted pyramid, and the story is better memorable; re-readable because. The piece is about a trip Sullivan made to the largest Christian Rock festival in the country, the Creation Festival, in rural Pennsylvania. What I love about any of Sullivans stories, but especially this one, is his command of the language.

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O nas, witamy serdecznie na stronie internetowej firmy ceomax! Nasza firma powstała w 1997 roku. Istniejmy już 17 lat na rynku firm oferujących sprzedaż i montaż artykułów instalacyjnosanitarnych. Czytaj więcej, oferta, firma ceomax oferuje państwu szeroki zakres kompleksowych usług związanych ze sprzedażą oraz montażem urządzeń instalacyjno sanitarnych dla domu oraz firm. Oferujemy państwu sprzedaż oraz montaż urządzeń, takich jak. Article by, last summer, john Jeremiah Sullivan wrote an essay about faulkners, absalom! Absalom!, and amid his deft and borderline genius thoughts on the table novel Itdramatizes historical consciousness itself, not just human lives but the forest of time in which the whole notion of human life must find its only meaning sullivan said something telling about his own.


John jeremiah sullivan essays
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