I wrote this post last year about Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Given all the hype and hoopla (and controversy) surrounding the publication of Harper Lee’s long-lost and recently-found “Go Set a Watchman,” thought it might be worth a re-visit. Look forward to hearing any thoughts or reactions to Lee’s “new” novel (written well before “Mockingbird”).
Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) is perhaps the quintessential Book That Mattered: one of the moral touchstones of an entire generation.
It is abook thatmany of us Baby Boomers (and non-Baby Boomers)fondly recallreading inouryounger years, many of us when we were still in high school.
And yet, readingMockingbird again after forty years or so. . .hate to say it . . . but it is not a great novel.Not even close. I’m not evensure it’s a very good novel. It’s a little too black and white, too unshaded, too stylistically uninventive to rank up there with thebest novels of our time.
So we have a bit of a dilemma: here’s a book that many of us love and admire–but, whenconsidered objectively, is not really a veryimpressive work of art.
How to solve it?
Let’s take a hint from Wallace Stevens and his great poem, “Thirteen…
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