Howard Cowan

May 18, 2015

Post #3989 – 20150518

Reproachably watching tv news on May 10 or 11, a story involving parental objections to excessive student testing caught my attention. They focused on a particular set of questions following a short story about a race between a pineapple and a turtle (?) When the camera closed in on the test booklet, there, at the top of the story, was the author's name: Daniel Pinkwater. Apparently, the test provider had used one of your shaggy-Dada stories for
testing reading comprehension in elementary students. The parents seemed not to understand that the story was intentionally absurd and had voiced their anger at the use of this material for testing their children.
Is the moral of this misunderstanding that "cheap life imitates art"?

Daniel replies:

Not exactly. The test publisher had purchased rights to one of my shaggy-dada stories for use in an """"educational material,"""" and it was then edited out of all recognition, with hardly a single word as written by me. Then unanswerable questions were added. As one who once ran away from a Zen monastery, I was impressed.