Book vs. Book: A Ludiological Literary Event
Every year a new Dinner and Conversations hosted by a faculty member occurs as part of Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society. Sometimes the event is a party portraying literary and cultural icons to solve a murder mystery using Sherlockian Detection, sometimes it’s going to a morgue-turned house to discuss Edgar Allan Poe with gothic décor and desserts made from Poe-shaped cookie-cutters, and sometimes it involves making Zines (a self-published magazine), printing Shakespearian sonnets with a Vandercook No. 1 Proof Press, or critically listening to music and how it changes as it travels around the globe. This year it was a battle of books hosted by Chris Morrow at The Old Bailey House on Saturday, December 2. This was a chance to pick a cherished book to pit against other books in an ultimate test of humor, cleverness, and literary madness. During the gathering, faculty and peers cut, fragmented, and decontextualized their book’s language to defeat one another in a game called Bring Your Own Book (similar to Apples to Apples). The appointed decider chose a prompt such as “text on a birthday card,” “the way the world ends,” “euphemism for going to the bathroom,” “the 11th commandment,” “a phrase you’d overhear on a truck driver radio,” or “this just in: a line of breaking news!” Each person in the collective gathering had a limited time to find the perfect line(s) in their book to sway the decider to choose his/her book for that prompt. Captain Ahab battled Shakespearean characters who battled mountain-climbers who battled graphic novel characters who battled animals, bus drivers, feminists, philosophers, sci-fiers, and many more. Playing games academically? How ludicrous…or ludiological!