Sunday, November 15, 2009

NOVELS OF THE 60's & 70's

You know, when I thought about covering this topic, I initially considered that the whole enterprise would be quite simple to execute and easy to chart. It isn't. It was a different time, and I was a different person---kind of. There was a sense of great excitement, urgency, impressiveness, and a sense of awe at nearly everything new. Quite amazing.

All of that seemed to have abated or at least became qualified over the years as I aged. One notices a great amount of redundancy, cheapness, self-aggrandizing, and puffed up egos in most things man-made. I find very little today that's manufactured, conceived, written, spoken, yelled, performed or negated by mankind that's the least bit awe-inspiring. However, that being said, I must make an exception with technology---some of it, anyway. Remember, I was brought up during my impressionable years with only a crackling radio and a telephone you had to scream into. Things have changed, and I am amazed to see it all. But with all these instant communication devices, we can only think of telling each other off, or breaking up with your sweetheart by texting her. That's amazing. Bringing people together by this technology has caused a whole new array of problems. But I won't get into that.

Also, there are very few(if any) people out there right now who inspire me or give me a sense of admiration. People like Einstein, Darwin, Shakespeare, Martha Steward were always my ideals. I'm just kidding about Martha Steward. But you wonder about a person who built a whole successful career(and lots of money) around compulsive trivia. And after a messy divorce, being jailed for a period of time, and hated by so many people, she just keeps on going. That's admirable, indeed.

I asked my wife who she admires today. This was an interesting conversation, so I'll transcribe it here. It went this way:

Bernie: Who do you really admire today?
Wife: This is a trick question, right?
B: No. Who do you see today as an admirable person? An inspiration? A great person?
W: You mean, alive in the world today?
B: Yes. It's not too difficult a question. Who is your hero.
W: Heroine, maybe.
B: Oh, of course. Woman or man.
W: Clarify further.
B: Well...someone maybe close by...I mean, not remote or far fetched...someone you admire.
W: Well, there's that Canadian female astronaut...what's her name?
B: Dr. Roberta Bondar. She doesn't count.
W: Why is that now?
B: She's an astronaut.
W: Oh. And that's not counting because......
B: Too remote.
W: Oooo K. Let's see now... someone close by, not too remote, admirable, great. Hmmmmm.
B: Too difficult?
W: No. I think I have it.
B: Oh good. Who?
W: You, Darling. Why didn't it come to me earlier? Strange.
B: Really!? Is that a fact? I'm honored. I had no idea....
W: Yep, It's definitely you.
B: Thank you for that! But what specifically would make you pick me as the most admirable?
W: Let's not push it, shall we? Let's leave it at that. You're the cat's meow, my Darling.
B: Well! Thanks! I didn't realize.... Where are you going?
W: Out in the garden to get some fresh air...clear my head. You know, sinuses.

So there you have it. This subject is exceedingly subjective.

I want to talk about the many authors I read and relished and revered during the 60's and 70's---and still do today, I suppose. Authors like: Vonnegut, Huxley, Camus, Kesey, Kafka, Updike, Hermann Hesse.....and so on. These will be my next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment