Robert Coover: The Universal Fictionmaking Process

By Lois Gordon | Go to book overview

7
More Innovations: Old and New

A Political Fable 1

Coover borrows Dr. Seuss's Cat in the Hat for his 1980 fable of the rise and fall of a U.S. presidential candidate. This mischievous and magical creature can pull anything out of his hat and transform any activity or object into whatever he wishes. He makes people laugh and "lift" their chin" and feel that they "will win" (p. 1). Since he is a cat, however, he lacks common speech. Thus, his story is told by the minority party's national chairman, Mr. Brown (nicknamed "Sooth- [sayer]"), and his political position is articulated by his own Mr. Clark, another magical figure out of Dr. Seuss One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

Brown's major capability is predicting elections. He himself could never aspire to the top job because of his fat lips, empirically unpopular and obviously unelectable. Brown understands the "kinetics," rather than the nonissues, of politics. Terms like "liberal" or "conservative," he explains, are "mere fictions" of the press "which politicians sooner or later...adapt." Actually, politics is "a complex pattern of vectors, some fixed...some random...even cosmic"; a politician's job is merely "to know them and ride them," (p. 7). Once again, politics is just a way of organizing life's flux.

This is, nevertheless, an election year, and Brown's party has conceded that the opponent, the incumbent, is a shoo-in. But to keep the political game rolling, it will push two losers (a Boston, Irish Protestant named Riley; and a tall, western descendant of Daniel Boone); this may blaze their trail toward victory four years hence. To be sure, the incumbent has everything; he is a man of all the people: "a member of everything from SANE and the NAACP to the American Legion, Southern Baptists, and the National Association of

-142-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Robert Coover: The Universal Fictionmaking Process
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 186

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.