Friday, August 31, 2007

Why are you such a geek?

... I just got asked. Fair enough, and mind you, I wish I were geekier much of the time! My folks were not especially bookish people, not intellectuals, not anything other than just plain folks. But for some reason, they had lots of Modern Library editions, as I imagine many of their generation did - what one of my former bosses liked to call "expensive wallpaper." Among these titles were Ulysses, To the Lighthouse, U.S.A. - all of which I read as a teenager to be bad. I was always getting into trouble, anyway, and I'd heard that Joyce was "dirty." In school, I'd get thrown out of class, and for punishment sent to (of all places) the library... where I picked up, thanks to the immediate appeal of its title, Crime and Punishment. I certainly didn't know that these were classics of literature - I was just interested in the crimes and punishments! It went on from there as I realized that in my benighted town reading books like that was about the same as breaking windows and smoking cigars behind the dumpster. It was transgressive. Of course, it was also very illuminating. Making a long story short, I found a bootstrap or two with which to lift myself out of the dumb-kid classes to which I'd been consigned. Best of all, given that I grew up in the South, I discovered Mencken's "Sahara of the Bozart..."

To be continued, or not. I only mention this to answer the question, not to be autoblogographical.

Currently listening :
White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s - The Joe Boyd Story

No comments: