I don’t think of myself as a literary snob. Hell, I write romance novels, the red-headed bastard stepchild of the novel writing world (don’t get me started on why romance novels are not all trash, or on why I believe they are given that label in the first place, etc, and often by people who’ve never read one or who did read one and it was, unfortunately, deserving of the name).
I enjoy and appreciate popular fiction. I don’t think all literature is grand, but since I am in pursuit of an advanced degree in the field, I have read many works of classic fiction, often more than once. That’s why this article makes me giggle.
In the tradition of best book lists everywhere, writer Matthew Baldwin compiles his own list . . .from the Amazon.com review section, where some folks seem to not, uh, appreciate the classics. Some favorites:
The Catcher in the Rye (1951), Author: J.D. Salinger. “So many other good books…don’t waste your time on this one. J.D. Salinger went into hiding because he was embarrassed.” [Yeah, what was up with that kid anyway? Why was he disconnected with the world around him and how come he just couldn’t get it together? No danger of that happening now that we have Prozac, so toss this trash!]
Lord of the Flies (1955), Author: William Golding. “I am obsessed with Survivor, so I thought it would be fun. WRONG!!! It is incredibly boring and disgusting. I was very much disturbed when I found young children killing each other. I think that anyone with a conscience would agree with me.” [Um, I think that was the point. You are supposed to be disgusted. And horrified. And it’s supposed to tell you something about humankind. But it ain’t no Survivor!]
Mrs. Dalloway (1925), Author: Virginia Woolf. “The only good thing to say about this “literary” drivel is that the person responsible, Virginia Woolf, has been dead for quite some time now. Let us pray to God she stays that way.” [Well thank God! My thesis is on VW, includes this book, and I’ve been searching for something to say about it. My search is over. Can someone please get me the citation information?]
To Kill a Mockingbird (1960), Author: Harper Lee. “I don’t see why this book is so fabulous. I would give it a zero. I find no point in writing a book about segregation, there’s no way of making it into an enjoyable book. And yes I am totally against segregation.” [Because of course we no longer have segregation and people of all races/nations/creeds get along perfectly. No need to learn about the unfairness and injustice done to people by folks who think they are superior. Natually, no one thinks they are superior anymore. We know we’re all equal.]
Found via Hoosier Musings on the Road to Emmaus.