July 15, 2010
My novel-in-progress, Tardy Son, is in no direct way an homage to Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. I do, however, refuse to read it again until my novel is finished because Twain’s story is lodged deeply in my own subconscious. Freedom is a theme no American writer can avoid. The Concord Public Library, however, once tried to avoid that theme and the one about free speech. See below.
“The Concord (Mass.) Public Library committee has decided to exclude Mark Twain’s latest book from the library. One member of the committee says that, while he does not wish to call it immoral, he thinks it contains but little humor, and that of a very coarse type. He regards it as the veriest trash. The library and the other members of the committee entertain similar views, characterizing it as rough, coarse, and inelegant, dealing with a series of experiences not elevating, the whole book being more suited to the slums than to intelligent, respectable people.”
—from Satire or Evasion?: Black Perspectives on Huckleberry Finn. Duke University Press. pp. 2. ISBN 9780822311744.
Today the Concord library lends forty-four versions of the novel including digital, tape, DVD, and a manga/graphic novel version.
July 13, 2010
Why did William Golding’s novel, “Lord of the Flies,’’ shift the blame for human savagery from adults onto children? Because we are all children at heart in selfishness? These questions are not answered in the new biography. We will have to ask ourselves these questions, and maybe that’s the point with Golding.
“Did the fear of nuclear annihilation or the start of counterculture make this novel of schoolboy savagery seem particularly apt? What about it spoke to the college generation in the lead-up to the Vietnam War? This book rarely addresses this type of broad question.
“Fans of “Lord of the Flies’’ will be intrigued to learn both that Golding disliked his most famous work (he dismissed the fortune it made him as “Monopoly money’’).
“William Golding (no doubt to the despair of modern fiction-writing teachers everywhere) almost always began his novels with an intellectual concept, rather than a character, in mind. We also learn that despite setting much of his fiction in times and places unfamiliar to him, like ancient Egypt, he rarely did any research, preferring his imagination to factual accuracy.
—From the review in the Boston Globe by Alison Lobron.
William Golding: The Man Who Wrote “Lord of the Flies’’ By John Carey
July 5, 2010
Two of my poems are published somewhere near the Interwebs in paper or electrons.