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Parrots, Pirates, and Prostheses

By posted at 3:50 pm on January 29, 2008 6

A friend who has long since gotten out of the literary scholarship racket was once, briefly, quite intent on writing a dissertation entitled “Parrots, Pirates, and Prostheses.” I have a vague recollection that the argument was to involve something about how pirates seem often to lose hands, legs, and eyes, and that along with their inanimate prosthetics (wooden legs, hooks, eye patches – if, indeed, eye patches count), they also have animate ones like parrots and monkeys. I am not quite sure where this argument was going. There was, however, an excellent plan to, at the defense of this unwritten dissertation, have a parrot, on the shoulder of the writer, declaim the defense.

Though this dissertation (sadly) remains unwritten, it did generate a list of parrot books. Everyone’s favorite genre! Behold:

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6 Responses to “Parrots, Pirates, and Prostheses”

  1. Levi Stahl
    at 5:46 pm on January 29, 2008

    That sounds like an odds-on favorite for best dissertation ever.

  2. J. Cameron Boyle
    at 12:59 am on January 30, 2008

    Don't forget Love in the Time of Cholera.

  3. Anne
    at 4:40 am on January 30, 2008

    (tapping her pipe and adjusting her patched blazer)

    I'm with Levi… "a very promising project indeed…" says the prof.

    Oh, this is great! A needed morning laugh for me. Brava.

  4. Edan
    at 1:26 pm on January 30, 2008

    What about that Robert Olen Butler story, "Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot"?

  5. WMRA Writers' Blog
    at 2:50 pm on January 30, 2008

    I'm a reporter on assignment for NPR looking into the power of AMazon reviewers. I saw your article in Slate. Might we chat, please, please, please??? E-mail me at [email protected]. Cheers, Martha Woodroof

  6. Herb Levy
    at 6:35 pm on January 30, 2008

    Joe Coomer's novel The Loop is in part about trying to find the owner of a lost parrot. It may not be in print now, but a movie is in pre-production awaiting the end of the writer's strike for the next draft of the script.

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