Vox Hunt: Shhh!

Book: Show us a book that made you laugh out loud.
Submitted by Red Pen.

Motel of the Mysteries
David Macaulay

How would archaeologists of the future interpret America of 1985?  This delightful piece of satire explores precisely this question.  Set in 4022, it details the excavation of a motel as intrepid archaeologists spin hilariously absurd but painfully logical interpretations around the most mundane of our cultural artifacts.  Another treasure from Papa Miao's collection, and one of my childhood favorites.  It almost convinced me to become an archaeologist, but then I decided to become a cultural anthropologist so that I could spin equally absurd interpretations around cultures still living.

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4 Responses to Vox Hunt: Shhh!

  1. Lauri says:

    Oooooh!!! My husband and I are always discussing how someone would look at our culture from a great distance. Either thru time or from another planet. This sounds just great! I will definitely look for it! THanks, littlem!!!

  2. IG says:

    Little Miao, Mr. IG says he is the only person he knows who found this book haunting and disturbing rather than comic. He said it sobered him in graduate school because of what it told him about archaeology. A spooky book about death rather than a fun romp. Very interesting choice!

  3. little miao says:

    Very interesting… I must reread it, IG. I read it when I was too young to appreciate much of anything (seriously, I was 10 and barely literate). I remember that the art is rather dark and shadowy… One thing it helped me to appreciate, though, is the futility of knowledge. I sort of see myself (and most of my colleagues here, hehe) in the same role as the protagonist, and one day another generation of historians will uncover our fragile tracks and see us in a starkly differently light from how we see ourselves.

  4. Lauri says:

    Wow, both added comments very interesting. The "futility" of knowledge. I like that.We humans are still so primitive and really know so little, even though we like to think we know it all! Hmph.

Miao & Purr!

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