Sunday, July 26, 2015

Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

Go Set a WatchmanGo Set a Watchman by Harper Lee

So - there's this new book out by Harper Lee. Maybe you've heard of her. She wrote the world's most beloved novel To Kill a Mockingbird and it has been a pillar of justice for more than fifty years. And then someone found another manuscript - a REJECTED manuscript - that sat idly collecting dust bunnies and tumble weeds in the bottom of a box. And that is where it should have stayed.

Anger does not carry the gravity of my emotions towards the publishing industry for making this novel public. This was nothing more than a scheme to pad their pockets, and that they have. They ought to be ashamed of themselves, but alas, they are not. They care nothing about literature, those who published this book, and frankly I think their acts are criminal.

I'm not "reviewing" this book, because it should not have been read.

Deep set in the novel, almost at the end, Uncle Jack explains to Scout that "she saw her father as a God, and now she realizes he is a man, and those paths should never cross." And he is right - those paths should never cross.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a God, Go Set a Watchman is a man - and those paths should never have crossed. It is a fundamental error that I wish I'd never made. Harper Lee is an author, an author who we all believed was pure as the sun, but this book makes her human, too. And we don't like that. I think one of the biggest struggles people will have with the novel is they thought Harper Lee herself was the young Scout Finch, and she's not - she's a writer with an amazing talent for voice. The two are not synonymous.

I will return to the fictional world of Scout Finch and Atticus and Jem, and I will continue to marvel in the language and prose of Harper Lee's finished work; I will not indulge my time on text she never intended the public to read.

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