Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Classics Shmassics

I have a confession to make. It's not going to be pretty, and some people are going to be really upset about it, but here it goes.

I think J.D. Salinger's writing is awful.

There. There I said it.

I don't think there's anything to profound about what he writes. I don't think it's interesting. I don't think the ramblings of a psychotic teenager are emotional. I think it was boring. Boring and irritating.

And I don't like Jane Austen either. It's Gossip Girl set in the 19th century.

And I think Joseph Heller forgot to put plots in his books.

I don't understand why these people are accepted as "classics." I used to think that I just didn't get it, I wasn't well-versed enough in literature to understand what all the hype was about. I used to try and force myself to read books by these people, thinking eventually I would get it, and I would have learned something through the experience.

But then I realized why should I spend my time reading books that I think are awful, when I could instead read books that I think are enjoyable and wonderful? Why was I forcing myself to accept the "truth" that these people are wonderful authors? I'm happy other people like them, but to think that it's "fact" that they're good is a little beyond me.

Basically, I've decided to stop trying to impress people with all the classics I've read and cave in to popular demand by liking what is accepted as "good" and just doing what I like. Seems simple but it took me awhile to figure it out.

So while I'm here, Adam Smith's "The Invisible Hand" is actually NOT awful. Not that you should take my word for it or anything. :P


  1. I get what you mean, like when I read those books in high school, there were definitely parts of them where I felt like I was just schlop-hopping through the dry minutia. And I definitely don't think I'm more cultured or intellectual for reading them, but I actually like Catcher in the Rye and Pride and Prejudice, just as novels themselves. I probably wouldn't pick them up on account of their being classics (I like my Asimov and Crichten, I'm such a nerd), but having read them I think they're just as good. Well, some classics are good, others are just terrible (Mayor of Casterbridge, boo).

  2. I also don't like Salinger or Austen! I feel like its this big academic no no to dislike them or most "classics" for that matter. It seems as if disliking them is admitting that you aren't as smart as everyone else because your dislike is really that you just didn't "get it". I'm having a similar issue in a class on Chekhov right now because I happen to hate Chekhov! RAWR school. So frustrating sometimes.

  3. I think J.D. Salinger is a pretty terrible writer, but I like that I am forced to nod along with what he's saying most of the time.

  4. I <3 Adam Smith. Then again, I'm a weird mathematical economics nerd :P