1. souse, n.5: 3. A drunkard. slang (chiefly U.S.). (OED)
  2. white souse, n.1: A blog for literature, politics, science, and the occasional cocktail.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Writers we get over

Jessa Crispin, over at "Bookslut," puts her finger on my failure to jump on the Vonnegut for canonization train [correction -- Crispin links this back to an Op-ed by Verlyn Klinkenborg at the NYTimes. But do visit Bookslut.]:

If you read Kurt Vonnegut when you were young — read all there was of him, book after book as fast as you could the way so many of us did — you probably set him aside long ago. That’s the way it goes with writers we love when we’re young. It’s almost as though their books absorbed some part of our DNA while we were reading them, and rereading them means revisiting a version of ourselves we may no longer remember or trust.

For me, the writer that epitomizes this would be Ayn Rand. People who were exposed to Rand early enough are able to continue growing up; but those who fall for Rand too late in life (read college) end up permanently stunted. Rand is a bit like The Transformers. Awesome when you're young, and fun to look back on nostalgically (remember the movie version w/ Orson Welles and Judd Nelson? Rad.). But if you're still carrying the lunchbox or wearing the underwear, you've got problems.

1 comment:

The Steve said...

About Ayn Rand, I can hardly disagree. I think J. D. Salinger also fits into this category, though many adults still attest to their fondness for the College-Prep English staple The Catcher in the Rye. I did not actually read the book until I was well into my twenties, which is a shame, because I felt like I'd outgrown it already while I was reading it. I might say something about the bizarre (to me) phenomenon of adults reading Harry Potter books, too, but I don't know when I'll be reading Tolkien again, myself. I am very glad I read the Ring books, etc., when I was still young enough to be absorbed into them.