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Book avoidance

Lately I have been plugging away at some books I should have read long ago. A full list of the books I’ve blown off is shameful, though the shame lessens every year. There was a time when reading great books seemed a moral enterprise to me, a kind of duty to civilization—and by that standard I was a hopeless moral defective.  English majors, even lazy ones like me, are trained to think that poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world. But you you grow up in this great country of ours and discover that the unacknowledged legislators of the world are really billionaire superpac funders—and that the poets of the world are more like the unacknowledged line cooks at the IHOP down by the Salvation Army.

When I say I am trying to catch up on the great books, of course, what I mean to say is I am catching up on respectable books that won’t bore me to tears. I doubt that my last dying regret will be that I never finished a Thomas Hardy novel or never got around to reading Look Homeward Angel. At this point in my life, I am seeking a sweet spot between duty and pleasure—which is also, incidentally, how most married people approach their sex lives. The most egregious oversight I think has been To Kill A Mockingbird, which I never read because it was never assigned--and then I plugged the gap with Gregory Peck.

That will come soon enough. But in the meantime, prepare yourself for the awesome might of some perfunctory reviews of some books you probably read when you were 14.


Apr. 13th, 2013 04:55 am (UTC)
Awesome. I look forward to your perspective.

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