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Riad Sattouf (1) vs. Veronica Geng; Bruce Springsteen advances

Personally, I’d rather hear Dorothy Parker, but I had to go with Dalton’s pitch:

Ah, but Dorothy Parker is actually from New Jersey. In fact, both Bruce and Dorothy are members of the official New Jersey hall of fame ( Both were born in Long Branch, NJ. But Bruce is backed up (literally) by another member of New Jersey hall of fame: the E Street Band, so advantage Bruce.

Granted, New Jersey is the armpit of America. But some people would rather rule in hell than serve in heaven, and if we have to pick the person to rule the Parkway, it’s gotta be the Boss.

And now today’s quarterfinal: Both Sattouf and Geng had troubled childhoods, they’re both hilarious, but Sattouf can draw—and his name ends in f. Is that enough to win it for him? It’s up to you to decide!

Again, we’re trying to pick the best seminar speaker. Here are the rules and here’s the bracket:


  1. zbicyclist says:

    The Arab of the Future; a writer from the past. Who’s more relevant to listen to today?

  2. Dzhaughn says:

    Anyway, what Ed said about Veronica having already won this tournament starts with this story (NYT 11/24/88):

    “After writing the title piece, ‘Love Trouble Is My Business,’ in which she meets a challenge to use the words ‘Mr. Reagan” and ‘read Proust’ in every sentence, she went back to Raymond Chandler’s ‘Big Sleep’ to learn why she instinctively used a ‘private-eye voice’ to tell her story. Sure enough, she found the astonishing coincidence of a passage in which ‘Marcel Proust’ and ‘Mrs. Regan’ appear.”

    Combine that with her improbable trajectory through the tournament, my running into Ed in the Pentagon basement, and her having the same birthday as Donald Fagen, and it is clear enough to Ed: We are all living in a simulation, and it is a simulation of her invention. She forgot, or something.

    Two worlds diverge here. There is a universe where Geng wins the tournament that she is fated to win, finally marries Ed, and we all live happliy ever after. And there is a universe where this is not the case, that she only got this far through our honorable judge tampering in God’s domain, and he will end up with pneumonia after attacking himself in a swamp with a giant nuclear octopus. Something like, 2:00 minutes in if you must.

    We cannot live in both worlds. Which will it be? The choice may be yours.

  3. Dalton says:

    Geng has been accused of being “subtle to the point of unintelligibility.” So apparently ole V puts the “b” in subtle. So here’s to our man, Riad who clearly puts the “f” in fun.

  4. Jonathan (another one) says:

    As Geng continues her relentless march to glory, my recapitulation of her *French* oeuvre leads to this piece from January 1986: (The 1985 Beaujolais Nouveaux: Ka-Boum!).

    “In your price range he can custom-assemble an impressive gift pack from among the following: Domain Algerie ’58, Clos Collaboration-Nazis ’41, Mouton Dreyfus ’94, and La Terreur Brute 1793–all noted for their ripe bouquet and quintessentially French character….Or you might consider the sampler case of Chateau Prefecture de Police, Nuit des Barricades, the most acclaimed of the May 1968 Sorbonnes. (Includes 1 Phosphore Blanc, 1 Vapeur de Chlore, 1 Poudre Enfermee, 1 Le Gaz Orthochlorobenzalmalonitrile, and 2 Grenades Lacrymogene.)”

    If she doesn’t get the seminar, she’s threatened to send incendiary wine. Let’s not risk it.

    • Andrew says:


      Hey, don’t do that! I already wrote tomorrow’s entry advancing Sattouf (on the basis of Dalton’s crisp argument above) and now you’re complicating matters by reminding me of Geng’s awesomeness.

      I just find it annoying to think that she was editing Philip Roth. Roth should’ve been editing her. Actually, I think Roth would’ve been a great editor. Too bad editing didn’t (doesn’t) have higher status.

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