There is something wrong with my brain. It just seems that lately, everything that gets held out as “literature” I hate. Everything that is supposed to be crap – Mystery Novels, Reality T.V., Miley Cyrus – I love.
It wasn’t always like this. I graduated from Northwestern. I’ve contemplated a John Cage poem or two. Maybe it was the 2 a.m. feedings with a baby who would not sleep. Maybe I read one too many cases by Scalia. But my capacity to meditate on the opaque has deteriorated. Or maybe I am just over it.
I was reading Ian McEwan’s “The Use of Poetry” in last month’s New Yorker. I got to the end of the story and thought, “What was the point of that?” That was kind of a shocking thing to think. It sounded like something my Christian right mother would have said. She was convinced that nothing decent had been written in the 20th century outside of C.S. Lewis and Murder She Wrote.
On the other hand, my son and I went to see Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog.” Not to ruin it, but at the end, the girl gets the guy AND a career. LOVED. I don’t think that I was the only one. As the credits rolled, the packed theater broke out into applause. When’s the last time you clapped for McEwan?
BTW – one notable exception. I have been introduced to the poetry of Leslie Harrison. Everyone agrees it’s literature. And I love it. She’s a nice person too.
*The title of this post is from that masterpiece of pop culture “True Blood.” Couldn’t agree more Queen Sophie-Anne.