"In the taking of meat there is a great civility, and a care of address": It's Bible Fan Fiction Season Again
In what’s beginning to be something of a tradition with me, I’ve written a rather fussy first-person piece of fan fiction about someone with a keenly-developed sense of injury. Last time it was An Incident Report and Admiral Motti from Star Wars (“I need hardly to say to you, gentlemen, that this was merely restating the official Tarkin Doctrine; it is scarcely in dispute”), this time round it’s the torturous serpent Leviathan of Job complaining about meat-etiquette for The Other Animals, where I’m joined by Ken Liu, Lulu Miller, Shruti Swamy and others.
In case you’re not already familiar with Leviathan, here’s a bit of a primer and here’s God’s monologue about him in Job itself. (Well? Can you draw him out with a hook?) Here’s a snippet from my story:
In the taking of meat there is a great civility, and a care of address; in the eating of flesh there is much tact. Them that eat grass live and multiply like grass – carelessly, openly under the sun and without need or knowledge of privacy, casually and without forethought. They are one day here and the next day for the furnace; for them are reserved the shallows, the fields, the herd, the closeness of many flanks, the movement of many mouths, lightness and forgetfulness of spirit, the clutch and the litter, ease of manner, democracy, ranklessness, panic, the cud, thoughtlessness, the secular, like-mindedness and unanimity. For them that take meat is reserved watchfulness, planning, care, prayer, the hours of the divine office, futurity, the deep, the cliff, the cave, mournfulness, regret, coiling and uncoiling, doctrine and rank, scripture and communion, self-consciousness, betrayal, tidiness, supplication, bindings, responsibility and geography. Our covenant came after theirs, but our memory is by needs longer, and older too. Their punishment comes swiftly and all at once and is renewed every evening and forgotten every morning in great new birthings of calves. Our punishment is held in reserve, and will come at the end of the succession of many noble generations. Then God will draw us out with hooks, and let cords down through our tongues, and pin thorns through our lovely jaws, and bind us and hang us, we have been assured. Then we will be filled with irons and fish-spears, to atone for our power and our comeliness and our meat-wealth.
You can pre-order it here, if you like. Otherwise, simply do nothing; carry on with your day and the book will never bother you again. (You shallow-hearted child of grass, you.)