In a press conference on Tuesday, a spokesperson from The Mennonite Society of Letters announced an inaugural literary award named in honour of Abraham ‘Fuela’ Reimer, a 19th century Russian Mennonite of some renown.
“They used to call anyone fuela (lazy) if they preferred to read books rather than schlep horse manure,” said society leader Arnold Penner. “The fact that 19th century Mennonites considered this man lazy should be considered a compliment by today’s standards. All it likely meant was he was literate. If he were living today he’d be as respected as David Bergen, Armin Wiebe or Miriam Toews.”
The award will be given to the person who is most likely to have been considered really really lazy by 19th century standards, but who also writes stuff.
“We hope to have a lot of solid nominations this year,” explained Penner. “There are many Mennonite writers out there. And basically none of them spend much time breaking horses and picking rocks from some decrepit Molotschna field anymore.”
Penner also stated that ‘Fuela’ Reimer was selected because, “if you check your ancestry books basically every Mennonite in Manitoba is related to him.”
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