Monday, February 9, 2009

RE: The Deciders

I'm sort of deliberately avoiding adding anything to do with "the boys i mean" and Funny Games because like the epic procrastinator that I am, I've yet to write my own analysis nor watch the film (although I just obtained it!).

Also, I was struck by what Edgar wrote:

In short, I trust someone who cares about literature enough to read James Joyce's "Ulysses" voluntarily to judge what can be considered literature than someone who was forced to read "To Kill a Mockingbird" and read the sparknotes to skip out on it anyway.

It's a reasonable statement and certainly makes a great deal of sense (to those of us with the common variety), but I just can't get past this one image in my head.

I have a friend, small in stature with a larger-than-life personality to make up for it, full of opinions and criticisms and controversial ideas. Sometimes I feel as though he goes out of his way be different, listening to his indie bands, of which only six other people know, and brooding in dark corners with his novel of the day. There's nothing wrong with this. I love this kid. Nevertheless, even though he has read Ulysses of his own accord, I don't think I'd ever trust his opinion as a definition for anything let alone something I value so much as literature.

For one thing, he probably did sparknote To Kill a Mockingbird before eagerly going to Barnes and Noble to pick up some Dostoyevsky. And what's wrong with Harper Lee? She's certainly an autho of literary merit, and I can see that even though I've never been a big Mockingbird fan myself. My friend can't, or more likely won't. He's too opinionated on what he deems is "good" to listen to anyone else or be objective about it, and that's fine. He's probably read more than me, and I'm also pretty sure he loves literature more than life itself, but so what?

My point is basically that you should never trust someone else's judgment on what is and isn't literature (or anything else) above your own, at least without conferring some thought upon the matter.

(This was self-indulgent to a certain degree, but I haven't eaten anything today and I'm about to pass out, so I'm going to take care of that.)

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