Jonathan Ullyot teaches literature at the University of Chicago. He is the screenwriter of Crime Fiction and Mulligan.
Little-known fact: Samuel Beckett, Nobel Prize-winning Irish novelist, poet and playwright, was also a prolific standardized-test writer.
“The Childhood of Jesus” is a novel that is aware of its own limitations: as an allegory of Jesus that does not fully cohere, as an emulation of Kafka’s modernism which cannot really be emulated and as a politically unsettling work by Coetzee that quickly turns lukewarm.
My teaching incorporates ruptures and shock; I will lecture on unassigned readings; I will surprise rather than illuminate. I will light the fires of imagination; I will light real fires.