Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Tomes I've scanned into my noggin.

Literature review #7.

Course, those ones are gag reviews, but, why not keep continuity anyway?

So, here's two books with hunting caps...

The Catcher In The Rye (1951)

Quick rundown-
Almost everything said about this book, pro and con, is wrong.
Especially by so-called intellectuals.
Mark David Chapman and John Hinckley are fucking morons.
The various losers that hunted down Salinger hoping he'd be a guru to solve their problems were the ones that really needed to be shot.

Good book, enjoyed it, but I've seen better in my time.
Now, if this landed in my lap as a teenager, it probably would have been my bible.
In hindsight, glad I saved it for 38.

I can see why it was probably a nuclear mushroom cloud in the stuffy 50's.
Kinda tame now.
I actually think George Carlin's trilogy of books (sold in one volume as "An Orgy Of George") cuts deeper into the meat of social criticism.
But, pretentious college assholes are never going to praise him as "high literature".
Fuck 'em.

Anyway, the "meaning", of the book?
Sex abuse.
The impact of sex abuse, and society's denial of it.
It's not even subtle, it's in plain black and white when you get to the Mr. Antolini bit.
Everything else in the book, right up to the title, falls together like a puzzle when seen through that context.
Any reviewer that got a different answer is automatically wrong.

People that dismiss Holden as "just a spoiled brat", are themselves perpetuating the cycle of victim blaming, and denial.
Interesting that one of the most famous recent cultural cases of this, was Quagmire from "Family Guy", in his tearing down of Brian the dog.
Quagmire is a rapist.
There you go, pretty blatant.
I wonder if this was intentional, or happy coincidence.
Kudos to the writers if it was the former.

I actually don't think this should be enforced required reading in school.
School gets it wrong, and ruins it.
Get your kids to read it on their own.

Anyway, that's that one.
Liked it, didn't love it.
Glad I finally got to it though.

A Confederacy Of Dunces (1980)

Okay, now this one, I loved.

This one screams out to be a movie, but, Hollywood, as can be expected, can't get their shit together.

Hard to talk about this one, it's one of those ones you can't describe without spoiling the whole plot, and pretty much ending up telling the whole story in book report form.

Okay, I'll try...
Fat slobby guy, over-educated, lazy, mother forces him to get work, hi-jinks ensue.
Everyone in it is a wacky character you fall in love with.
My personal favorite, Myrna Minkoff.
Best crazy bitch that you're still able to like in all of literature.
They're all great though.

Funny as fuck.
Excellent book.
Read it.

Aaand, that's the end.


Billdude said...

9 times out of 10 haters of "Catcher In The Rye" think that the book is trying to tell you that every one of Holden's observations is spot-on and that the book wants you to love him and that he's the quintessential teenager. To be fair, some people teach the book this way, which is horseshit in and of itself, but so is the response. Reading it at college or older should make it clear to anyone who had any doubts otherwise that Salinger brilliantly shaded the character so that things he says that are spot on, are mixed in with things he says that are totally off-base and blown out of proportion.

Let's hope it never gets made into a movie--in other ways, it already has ("Igby Goes Down," which is a piece of crap, tried very hard to be CITR.)

It was also the first real anti-suburban youth voice in literature.

Professors probably don't care for Carlin, but plenty of young people probably still pick his books up, or watch his shows.

"A Confederacy Of Dunces" - on the basis of his one finished book (written in 1967, published posthumously in 1980) John Kennedy Toole was a gifted writer of comedy, a passable caricaturist, and a horrible editor of his own material. A very funny book anyway, but could've used some trimming IMO.

They wanted to make a movie starring Will Ferrell, which could have easily been a disaster. The character of Ignatius J. Reilly is still very much with us though so the book cannot be accused of dating badly to the 1960s.

Diacanu said...

Not much to add to that.

Except, there's still talk of a "Confederacy", movie with Zach Galifianakis as Ignatius.

Argh! First of all, I hate Galifianakis. He's overrated, unfunny, and a dick.

Secondly...he's a dwarf! Ignatius is supposed to be a giant beast.

What are they gonna do, Hobbit shrink everyone else?

A hex upon that endeavor.

Billdude said...

I don't doubt they'll be "talking" about that Confederacy movie for a long, long time. Lots of books aren't really filmable.

I did see that you hated "The Hangover," I didn't, fortunately I don't have much of an attachment to it. The sequel however was completely worthless.

Anyway one other thing of note about "Confederacy" was that the book was considered a step up from previous other Southern novelists in terms of how it characterized black people, but that discussion doesn't really fascinate me anymore. It's been awhile since I read it.

Guess we're doing this instead of a board, then. Unless I find something else, but I'm not even really looking very hard.

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