Teaching Notes for Prehistoric:
Use in the classroom to discuss: the imp of the perverse; trickster figures; sibling dynamics; family dynamics; explorations of complex childhood; parental figures; the queering of nuclear families; characters in uncanny environments; gravestones; grief narratives; domestic spaces; depth collections; the formation and organization of a story collection; stories less-driven by (traditional) plot; (sur)realism; linked narratives; lyrical writing; poetic/economical language; brevity; aggressively weird prose; destructive acts; pretense; games.
Pairs well with You On Mars: Failed Sci-Fi Stories, Surviving in Drought, Weird Weeks.
Prehistoric by John Paul Stadler
44 pages. Perfect-bound.
The fibs that form in a family calcify over decades of chatty repetition, layering sentiment, sediment and a delicate lattice of distortion over every childhood exploit. Seven children start circus shows; Father’s face drips with lemon and honey; Mother’s body becomes a bakery; the stories we have buried in the rock make us weep and weep and weep. In Prehistoric, John Paul Stadler upturns the foundational bedrocks of the family quarry, unburying memories so distant that they have become fossilized.