American Lit Edition
Tomorrow the creatively named National Book Foundation will announce their finalists for the National Book Award. That got us thinking about a squad of American writers, combining all the energy, creativity and bombast that characterize their works. Here, we’ve lined them up in a fluid 4-4-2, think Manchester United in the days of Cristiano Ronaldo.
GK – Harper Lee – Makes of her role in limited action, always rising to the occasion when called for.
LB – Mark Twain – His versatility and his quick thinking serve him well as he moves up and down the flank.
CB – Ralph Ellison – Uses a finely-honed sense of positional awareness to snuff out attacks before opposing forwards even know he’s there.
CB – David Halberstam – Who said our squad had to be all fiction? Halberstam’s a towering yet versatile presence in the center of the defense, able to keep up with the Best and the Brightest thanks to his keen knowledge of the Breaks of the Game.
RB – Emily Dickinson – Is happy to stay home and cover the bombing runs forward of her cohort on the right.
LM – Theodor Geisel, a.k.a. Dr. Seuss – Don’t be fooled by his children’s books, as his genius ensures that our forwards get looks. With wacky passes and outlandish ideas, he can split any defense and leave them in tears.
CM – David Foster Wallace – DFW devoted his career toward making sense of the mayhem of modern life, finding some order in the chaos. He does the same thing on the pitch here as a deep-lying distributor, slowing the game down for the many manics arrayed in front of him.
CM – Joseph Heller – No one understands better the paradox of being a two-way midfielder: That he has the right to do anything the opposition can’t stop him from doing.
RM – Jack Kerouac – Not much to track back on defense, Kerouac only knows one direction, forward, and one speed, fast.
CF/CAM – Hunter S. Thompson – Combines the hyperactivity of Carlos Tevez with the absurd genius of Eric Cantona and the fear and loathing of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
CF – T.S. Eliot – Wasn’t getting looked at in the deep forward pool of the British writers squad, so he returned to the country of his birth in search of international football.
Special Bonus XI:
I’m not the only English major around these parts (excuse the dropping of the editorial “we.” Truthfully, we think it’s pretty stupid, and only do it on these posts out of laziness.). So I got Wes to scrape up his American XI as well. He lined up his authors in a 4-3-3.
GK – David Foster Wallace – Stacks a couple of copies of Infinite Jest to keep shots out.
FB – William Faulkner – Only recognized for his greatness after his prime.
CB – Ernest Hemingway – Tough, no-nonsense defender. As brave as he is ruthless.
CB – Henry David Thoreau – A true old-fashioned center-half. Emphasis on the old-fashioned.
FB – Alice Walker – Spent her career defending civil rights by going on the offensive.
DM – Emily Dickinson – Plays lots of short, staccato passes.
CM – John Steinbeck – A tireless worker in the center of the pitch.
AM – F. Scott Fitzgerald – Temperamental creative midfielder. A real game-changer, when he can find the motivation.
LW – Tennessee Williams – There wasn’t a defender he wouldn’t take on.
CF – Truman Capote – Never took a shot on goal he didn’t miss.
RW – Flannery O’Connor – Cuts through opposing defenses like a scathing insult.