Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Contemporary Angst

I'm reading The Bell Jar again. The intro by Frances McCullough struck me with some very interesting points. Plath's novel would not be half as interesting (or sad) if she hadn't killed herself shortly after its publication. Similarly, Anne Frank's Diary wouldn't be nearly as fascinating (or sad) if she had survived the Holocaust. It may, in fact, never have seen eyes other than Anne's aging ones.

Sometimes outside influences or knowledge of a story or author greatly influence our take on the story itself. 

That may be the same reason I have no interest in seeing any movies starring Tom Cruise. Outside information has tainted my view of his portrayed characters.

I do like the sad books. The ones that don't seem sad, that is (and there IS a difference). 

Sad books that don't seem sad 
(you know you should be sad, but are enjoying yourself too much):
The Bell Jar -Plath
The Diary of Anne Frank -Frank
White Oleander -Fisch
Angela's Ashes -McCourt
The Glass Castle -Walls
Cold Mountain -Frazier