Artist in Residence 2019: Lancelot Schaubert
By Lancelot Schaubert• Galatians 4:21–5: 1
As a kid, you believe in the Good Lord and as a teen you believe in church and as an adult you believe in neither. We were kids. Brothers — all the best and all the worst of what that word means. I was nine. Hayden was seven. Our play turned magical and really mundane all at once, thanks to a prayer and our heritage. A better author called it “good, tilled earth.”
Responding to Galatians 4:21–5:1, author and 2019 Artist in Residence Lancelot Schaubert presents the first of his four short stories that will ultimately become chapters in the third novel within his White Trash Magic trilogy.
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Galatians 4:21–5: 1
21 Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law? 22 For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. 23 But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise. 24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. 25 For this Agar is mount Sinai in Arabia, and answereth to Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children. 26 But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all. 27 For it is written, Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not: for the desolate hath many more children than she which hath an husband. 28 Now we, brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of promise. 29 But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. 30 Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman. 31 So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.
1 Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
This story marks part one of a serialized work in four parts, all of which will eventually nest itself within a larger novel I'm loosely calling The Moon Boys, part one of the Bell Hammers (or "White Trash Magic" trilogy). The story features two boys struggling between the son of the flesh and the son of the spirit, the Wordsworth / Coleridge dichotomy, the wonder of the mundane and the wonder of the fantastic, and the great modern split between urban and rural with families ties barely holding it all together. In this story, you'll get a flavor for the initial magical appeal as well as watch me t-up some of the coming themes in the other three pieces.
Born and raised in Southern Illinois amid four generations of carpenters (and named either after Lancelot the knight or Lancelot the soap opera character, depending on which parent you ask), I moved to Joplin, Missouri for college where I did internships in San Diego among young artists and in Detroit — Dearborn — where I taught English and citizenship to Arab immigrants. I auditioned for some TV shows, helped internationals feel at home, and started an artist support group with Mark Neuenschwander, the photographer.
In college, I majored in rhetoric and minored in mythology and ancient literature. Somewhere in there, I fumbled along trying to woo the grooviest girl in the world to marry me. She was from Ferguson, Missouri.
Now, we live in New York City. In addition to writing and producing, I work for ACT International helping artists in the city think cleverer, feel deeper, and act truer. Sometimes I give them grants to jumpstart their careers. Most of the time I just cook them food, let them crash at my place, and hold them when NBC rejects their screenplay or only five of their paintings sell at their gallery. If that’s you, I’m in your corner.
By now, I’ve written hundreds of articles and stories and poems (maybe thousands?) and I’ve spoken for various conferences on writing, culture creating, neighborhood development, and virtue ethics.
I’m hard at work on what will be my first published novel, but I’m also quite dangerous with a nail gun. Ask me about the squirrel sometime.