Saturday, November 03, 2012

Drop the teen angst novel already...

Someone at Slate.com finally starts to say what I've said for the past twenty years about "The Catcher in the Rye," which is that it is a tired book that has not stood the test of time.

The problem is that the author of the article, Jessica Roake, wants to replace it with another teen angst book from "Cloud Atlas" author David Mitchell, "Black Swan Green," which I hate to say it, sounds even more creaky than "Catcher."

Enough with teen angst already, literature teachers!

If we want to turn on young minds, we need to stop the navel gazing. When I tell young people to read something, it's because I want them to read something that transforms themselves in relationship to the world around them. That's why I propose to young people books like...

"The Space Merchants" by Frederik Pohl and Cyril Kornbluth

"Doctor Rat" by William Kotzwinkle

"Black No More" by George Schuyler

"The Iron Heel" by Jack London

"Ever Since Darwin" by Stephen Jay Gould

"Arrowsmith" by Sinclair Lewis

"The Magnificent Ambersons" by Booth Tarkington

"In Dubious Battle" by John Steinbeck

"The Quiet American" by Graham Greene

"Class" by Paul Fussell

There is a reason most literature professors and teachers don't prescribe these sorts of books. It would greatly upset that contingent of anti-intellectuals and right wing business people who really do not want the great unwashed as they used to call them back in the day to start critically thinking about the world around them. And both groups are supported by the more "moderate" business leaders, including financiers, insurance company executives and bankers who are the true owners of the nation.

Let George Carlin explain it to us...

1 Comments:

At 9:50 AM, Blogger Theophylact said...

Have you read Black Swan Green? Like all of Mitchell's books, it's good in unusual ways. Unlike the others, though, it's largely autobiographical.

 

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