Kafka vs. Gossip Girl: The Trials and Tribulations of Trying to Read Smart People Books
Sometimes I wish life was just a little bit more like high school. I’m not talking about the social politics, the meatheads and the mean girls; I’m thinking more along the lines of required reading. If only this notion extended into our adult lives and we were required to read Doestoevsky — I’d feel so much more magnanimous for watching an eight-hour marathon of “Jersey Shore”. And no, chick lit book clubs don’t count as adult versions of required reading. Discussing some crap book for 20 minutes, then hitting the wine hard to bitch and moan about the lack of dudes in one’s life hardly makes for an intellectually stimulating conversation. Amusing, yes; intellectual, no.
While I try to make a play in my own life to balance out the crap with the not-so-crappy (eg. for every three Gossip Girl books I burn through, I force myself to choke down one moderately challenging book), I can’t help but miss the required tomes of high school English. The mind-fuckage of Shirley Jackson’s The Lottery (satirized in The Onion last week), the distracting use of tabs in Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying, the paranoia of Kafka’s The Trial… It’s lofty of me to even think I’d be able to read these books today, without the hand-holding guidance of an English teacher, but it’s a nice thought that I’ll entertain for at least a few weeks. You know, until the latest GG comes out.
Posted by Amelia