The Oath of Literary Allegiance

Brenna Clarke Gray

Staff Writer

Part muppet and part college faculty member, Brenna Clarke Gray holds a PhD in Canadian Literature while simultaneously holding two cats named Chaucer and Swift. It's a juggling act. Raised in small-town Ontario, Brenna has since been transported by school to the Atlantic provinces and by work to the Vancouver area, where she now lives with her stylish cyclist/webgeek husband and the aforementioned cats. When not posing by day as a forserious academic, she can be found painting her nails and watching Degrassi (through the critical lens of awesomeness). She posts about graphic narratives at Graphixia, and occasionally she remembers to update her own blog, Not That Kind of Doctor. Blog: Not That Kind of Doctor Twitter: @brennacgray

What if, in order to become a citizen of the great nation of literature, you had to take an Oath of Allegiance — just like when you want to gain citizenship to, say, the United States? I think an Oath of Literary Allegiance would look a little something like this:

I hereby declare, on oath, that

I absolutely and entirely

renounce and abjure

all allegiance and fidelity

to any television program, movie franchise, video game, or website

of which I have heretofore been a fan or fanatic

that I will support and defend

the libraries and indie bookstores of the world

against all enemies, Amazon or otherwise

that I will read in my spare time and sometimes when I should be working

that I will bear anger against those who write in library books or fail to pay their fines

that I will perform critical analysis and petitioning against those who seek to ban books

that I will perform works of generous-hearted criticism when called upon by the internet

and that I take this obligation freely

without any mental reservation

or purpose of evasion.

So help me, Toni Morrison.