LTEL 180K Essay 2

Submitted By egabriel1995
Words: 1267
Pages: 6

Gabriel Estacuy
Professor Brenda Sanfilippo
War in Contemporary American Culture
May 19, 2015
The Art of Death War reveals humanity as much as it destroys it. That is what we can see from Hassan Blasim’s short stories in The Corpse Exhibition. His stories are filled with death and gore but are still able to contain a bit of black “humor” and dialogue that is able to steer away from that context. For this particular analysis we focus on his opening story of the same title. It starts as a lecture in the proper aesthetics of displaying murder victims in what seems to be Iraq. The unnamed instructor, who works professionally at an unnamed institution, begins in a serious tone explaining to the trainee the steps of his objective. As his lecture progresses he begins to state his own opinions about the works of his workmates. We hear about the works of Satan’s Knife, Agent Deaf, the Nail, and the mortician. His form of speaking about them gives off chilling and violent settings but eases it by about it as if it were a form of art. For the job that has been received to become memorable, one must display the body in an artistically matter of form. The work must be done in a “creative” way. When using the word “creative” we think of happy and appropriate thoughts, not murder and corpses being displayed for the whole world to see. The word “creative” appears a couple times in this short story, and each time it makes us feel as if this is a form of art that the instructor enjoys. The use of this keyword also hints that the instructor himself is the great mortician himself. While the instructor tells the stories of different individuals and the works that they have done, keywords reveal that he himself originated as the mortician and is the head of the creativity department. We see the word “creativity” twice on page 79. Once before the instructor starts talking about Satan’s Knife, and another afterwards. We then see “creatively” on page 80 when he rants about showing the world the “justice of discovering the insignificance and equivocal essence of the world.” (80). Then one last time towards the end of the short story, right before he thrusts the knife into his trainee. We begin by the instructor telling the trainee that to make sure his work is seen as art, something that people would remember. “Every body you finish off is a work of art waiting for you to add the final touch, so that you can shine like a precious jewel amid the wreckage of this country. To display a corpse for others to see is the ultimate creativity we are seeking and that we care trying to study and benefit from.” (79). Right before this quote was said, the instructor was in a professional state of mind. He was explaining to the trainee what his job is, how he should approach it, and the rewards that would come when if he finishes it correctly, which is moving up in ranks. As the instructor begins to talk about how creativity should be a factor when displaying the murdered victims, we see his state change. The word creativity creates a soft and uplifting environment for the instructor when mentioned. It becomes a phenomenon whereby something new is thought of, such as an idea, a theory, or a piece of art. As the keyword “creativity” arises, immediately the instructor starts to bring his personal opinions into this lecture. He starts talking about Satan’s Knife and how he personally feels about that individual. He then starts to criticize Satan’s Knife’s creativity, calling him a “conceited fool” (79). By calling Satan’s Knife a fool we get that sense that he takes creativity seriously and knows first-hand what is good creativity and what is bad creativity. After becoming more comfortable with the trainee, the instructor decides to continue telling him about what he thinks of the other workmates. Usually when talking about creativity art is the one of the first things that come to mind. When we want to become creative we want the finished product to be…