Julia progresses from cradle to grave, showing how government makes every good thing in her life possible. The weak economy, high unemployment, falling wages, rising gas prices, the national debt, the insolvency of entitlements - all these are fictionally assumed away in a cartoon that is produced by a president who wants us to forget about them.
Throughout my reading life, I've enjoyed many memorable meals-if only fictionally. The oysters at dinner near the beginning of Anna Karenina, the dinner Nana throws for her overflowing guests in Zola's Nana, the walk through Les Halles for breakfast in Baldwin's Giovanni's Room, and nearly every meal in Monique Truong's The Book of Salt.
Mr Bott sits down and gestures gracefully to the board. "As you are clearly both fascinated by this text, would you like to explain the significance of Laertes in Hamlet?" He looks at Alexa. "Please go first, Miss Roberts." "Well... " Alexa says hesitantly. "He's Ophelia's brother, right?" "I didn't ask for his family tree, Alexa. I want to know his literary significance as a fictional character." Alexa looks uncomfortable. "Well then, his literary significance is in being Ophelia's brother, isn't it? So she has someone to hang out with." "How very kind of Shakespeare to give fictional Ophelia a fictional playmate so that she doesn't get fictionally bored. Your analytical skills astound me, Alexa. Perhaps I should send you to Set Seven with Mrs White and you can spend the rest of the lesson studying Thomas the Tank Engine. I believe he has lots of buddies too.