Castoria Arts Council Evaluation

Briefing Note to Council
RE: Agricultural Appropriation and Very Scholarly Thesis-Worthy Government Funding Agency 
Review of Application for publication support - W.P. Kinsella's Shoeless Joe 

In this novel Shoeless Joe, the author W. P. Kinsella, a cab driver, who was born and raised in a very non-American city, does not actually claim to be an Iowa corn farmer.  But he gives the narrator of his book a Kinisellian last name, has him speak in the first person, and implies a corn-farmer point of view throughout this story of a “dreamer American” and lover of the American pastime, American baseball.

This appropriation of a revered element of American culture with allusions to the American Dream persona for artistic purposes by a non-American cannot be redeemed merely on the grounds of its edifying cultural contributions and amusement effects.
This book claims an American voice, but distorts and devalues the American experience with its persistent references to "literature" and "love."

"I never owned a gun," the unreliably rural "American" narrator says as he plots his enounter with iconic American author J.D. Salinger and ponders the painful 1919 painful American Black Sox Scandal experience.

Ray Kinsella (Kinsella No. 2) is, admittedly, a fictional narrator, but his imaginary state does not pardon the use of differences based upon a rurally located occupation. 

He further misrepresents the "Team Voice" and experience in scenes involving the Shoeless Joe ghost and his ghostmates.  His farmer persona alone constitutes what post-Shoeless scholars have termed “agri-Cultural appropriation.” 
This Shoeless story lacks truth.

“I built the field and waited, and waited, and waited,” imaginary shoe-wearing, farmer-narrator Ray Kinsella tells us, without explaining how the farming gets done and who is picking the corn.
The answer, to accept Kinsella No. 1’s writing, is certainly not Annie, the faux-farmer’s Mid-West "American" wife.

“She is soft as a butterfly ... Her jeans are painted to her body, and her pointy nipples poke at the front of her black T-shirt.”
Clearly, this is an Iowa farm wife drawn by the bias and preconceptions with entrenched views of what an imaginary female spouse on an imagined dream-field farm should be like.

Finally, narrator Ray and Annie both speak in a mock patois that is not farmer, not Iowa, and not baseball. “I say” is the customary phrase after direct quotes.

This book is an ill-considered and blatant effort to exploit a nation’s beloved institution for base artistic purpose. 
Kinsella No. 1 is obviously playing the farmer (Kinsella No. 2) to ingratiate himself and his exploitive novel to an American audience and - oh yeah -  just to tell a story.

Recommendation:  Arts Council Funding Denied