Thursday, October 18, 2012

In which Samuel Richardson creates an OKCupid profile

I would like to present a rhapsodic prose poem that I wrote about myself in the form of an online dating profile. I am confident that my readers shall be edified and instructed in reading over this little piece, and if this posting should happen to strike the fancy of some hearty wenches, I shall be most delighted to make their acquaintance. And so here you have the fruits of my labours---

My self-summary

I am Samuel Richardson, Esq, the great 18th century novelist, having time traveled to 2012. You will be pleased to call me Mr. Richardson.

No man living has a greater passion for Beauty and Virtue than I have. Yet until I recognized this about myself, I was but wasting my genius upon the world so to speak. Now I am ready to come out and make the following announcement to the public, that I am indeed the perfect friend, lover, and husband.

I am the perfect friend and companion because of my sharp wit and my considerable fund of humour. I am also known for my superior storytelling abilities, and from time to time I like to take plentiful draughts of rhenish---all of which make me a hearty companion indeed.

I became the perfect lover (alas, I was not born to it) by imitating classical examples set forth by Troilus and Leander and by learning from Plutarch. As a Platonic Idealist I am likely to imagine my Lady as a corporeal cast of an Ideal Form, an imitation of an Ideal Form. No wonder that female lovers make second-rate house-keepers.

You will find that I am the perfect husband because of my steadiness, my comfortable means of living, and, despite my occasional preference for gayety and diversion, my serious nature. Indeed you shall never find me tapping away on any electronic gewgaw, watching MSNBC, or surfing the internet, as many frivolous people nowadays enjoy doing, to the utter detriment of their own sanity, for many idle hours. Instead, you are more likely to find me meditating on the classics, attempting to reconstruct the past thereby with a view to the highest purpose of truth.

What I’m doing with my life

I am currently trying to promote my major literary works (see below) to the 21st century public. I was shocked indeed to have found that there is little respect left among contemporary audiences for 18th century epistolary novels, especially if the novels are longer than 2000 pages (but it should not surprise anyone, considering what this society regularly watches on TV contraptions) I am now singlehandedly attempting to reverse this trend.

I am also seeking to attract people to my personal method of spiritual purgation, or, as it is vulgarly called, psychotherapy, that I have developed over the course of my life. This method consists of a series of hour-long sessions, overseen by yours truly, in which the patient commits himself to intensive and studied readings of my novels. I am confident that within 30 days your bodily humours will resume more balanced proportions and your spirits elevated, or else I shall refund all your ducats.

I am also mustering support for my intellectual movement, of which I am the supreme leader, known as Post-Modern Luddism.

I’m really good at

I am a masterly prose writer, having composed in 1748 the greatest novel in the English language, Clarissa, or the History of a Young Lady, about which you can easily find out for yourself by searching for my name using any of your google machines.  

The first things people usually notice about me

Whenever I walk on the streets in New York City I attract quite a lot of attention. People are inevitably struck by my powdered wig and my red breeches over white stockings. And when they hear me speak, they notice that I speak in elevated diction. This has the effect of putting to shame their own vulgar manner of communicating, transforming thereby any creature who apprehends my rhapsodizing into one of my loyal disciples.

Favorite books, movies, shows, music, and food

Samuel Richardson is the greatest novelist in the English language, which I would assert even were I not Mr. Richardson myself. Here are all my novels: Pamela, Clarissa, and Sir Charles Grandison.

There are other writers worthy to be mentioned alongside my name, such as Mr. Samuel Johnson, Mr. Aaron Hill, Miss Sarah Fielding, and even her wretched brother, Mr. Henry Fielding.

I am also convinced that the greatest film and television show is the 1991 British television adaptation of my Clarissa---which is still not saying much about film and television.

My favorite meal is mutton chop and pickled walnuts complete with a tankard of rhenish.

The six things I could never do without

My devoted friends, a harpsichord, a fair lady to play the harpsichord, a quill pen, paper, and ink.

I spend a lot of time thinking about

I spend a large portion of my day devising methods for peeping inside my neighbor’s lodgings in order that I may glimpse the fair lady who lives there perform her morning ablutions in a state of dishabille.

On a typical Friday night I am

Indulging most likely in the same things that my modern 21st century fellow creatures are wont to indulge in on a Friday evening, at least insofar as those activities relate to culture. Like the capricious 21st century creature, I like to partake in human experiences of extreme natures---therefore on a typical Friday evening I am, on balance, equally likely to be reading either Shakespeare's pastoral romances or his domestic tragedies, or Montaigne's Essays or his naughty doggerel.

The most private thing I’m willing to admit

I like to hide inside the buck basket where the saucy maid stores her soiled underthings, and sometimes I snatch a few of her undergarments and bring them back to my chambers, whereupon I subject them to the closest inspection, especially with my mouth and nose, for their delicious feminine aromas and sauces.

I’m looking for

I’m seeking anyone who might desire to belong to my personal coterie of loyal fans, witty punsters, all sorts of flatterers, and chaste ladies (though not chaste when behind closed doors).    

You should message me if

You should send me a scribbling in return if you meet the qualifications listed above, or if you’d like to help me spread the message about the greatness of Samuel Richardson and of his novels, especially his masterpiece Clarissa.

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