Teaching Notes for What I Remember of My Love Affair with the Bird
Use in the classroom to discuss: suicide; destructive actions; grief narratives; segmented narratives; furtive performances of the personal; speech acts; codes; colony collapse; memory; remembrances; (im)permanence of cultural touchstones; characters who are unrealistic/surreal yet believable/knowable; uncanny characters in everyday environments; contemporary dystopias; pretense; translation; hauntings; stolen experiences; (state of) being down and out; observation and surveillance; political critique; anthems; birds.
Pairs well with Thousands of Shredded Scraps of Paper Located across Five Landfills, That if Pieced Together Form a Message, Daddy Issues, Suburban Folktales
What I Remember of My Love Affair with the Bird by Thomas Israel Hopkins
Generals and journeymen alike populate Thomas Israel Hopkins’ What I Remember of my Love Affair with the Bird and Other Stories—and each man thrills at the opportunity to document his own experience of impulse and failure. In these twelve tales, border guards and birds are pivot-points for national anthems, verse poets wander far afield and into the wood, and natural born citizens fall from great heights into the arms of strangers on city streets. There is no question of coercion, here: your forefathers will make you want to cast yourself into the sky, your forefathers will make you want to roll yourself over the waters, your forefathers will make you want to remember yourself as you once were. So turn back the border. Your own country’s catastrophes will have to satisfy you.