Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Magical and redemptive

Hoping for blogdemption:
I've fallen off the review wagon. These things happen. The holidays come around, the Law and Order marathons add up, you start actually planning that whole wedding thing, and suddenly you've read 20 books and haven't reviewed a single one of them. If by you I mean me, anyway. This makes writing a blog entry doubly hard because if I don't review books what exactly is this blog here to do? Ideally I'd have found a niche by now. Probably said niche can be found in same place I keep thinking I'm headed before I get distracted by other things and shy of public forums: awkwardness+customer oriented community-based vocation. That is to say: Awkward Librarianism. Again.

So here is an awkward transition to a discussion about pop culture featuring a quote from Sherman Alexie.

This brings me to Magical?

So Paul was certainly not addicted to the present day. on the contrary, Paul believed that the present, past, and future were all happening simultaneously, and that any era's pop culture was his pop culture. And sure, pop culture could be crass and manipulative, and sometimes evil, but it could also be magical and redemptive.
From "The Ballad of Paul Nonetheless" in "War Dances" by Sherman Alexie.

Maybe it is the anthropologist in me, but do you know what I love to imagine? I love to imagine people reading popular contemporary authors being read in classrooms and lecture halls and analyzed as "classics." I think that the Nicholas Sparks and Nora Roberts, as fun and palatable as they are, will not endure to that point. However, I like to think the Nick Hornbys, Sherman Alexies, and Audrey Niffeneggers (well, at least TTW) might just make it to that point.

The truth is, of course, I have no idea what piece of our pop culture will become a piece of future pop culture. It could be someone as yet undiscovered who is discovered to have written amazing pieces about now 10 years after they die. It could be that not a single title published in the past ten years is ever discussed by anyone 100 years from now. The zombiepocalypse may have happened and their may be no one left to discuss much of anything. Or maybe everyone will be reading Harry Potter and Twilight 500 years from now and making vast sweeping generalizations about everyone who was around at the end of the last millennium or the beginning of this one based on Hogwart's Sorting Cap and Bella Swan's insatiable use of adverbs.

But really, this is all just my awkward way of saying that I really liked the collection of short stories in War Dances. I like Sherman Alexie and I hope that his works endure and become part of the pop culture of the ages. Because, his books and stories don't just give me an escape for a few moments, but instead leaving me twisting with the ideas behind them and the characters and situations in them.

Whew, tied it all together there in the end, I hope.

1 comment:

  1. I like wondering about what books will stand the test of time. What books will my grandchildren be reading that I read (and not the ones I save for them to read). It's interesting to think about, and I think you're right-Sherman Alexie and Nick Hornby will stick around.