Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A Defiant Age

I was thirteen when my father found a copy of The Fan Club lying around in my room. To him it represented ultimate decadence of my literary tastes. I remember being amused at how he walked out in a huff to consult with my mother in the kitchen in exaggerated undertones.

To his credit, while he expressed disapproval over a lot he rarely ever embargoed anything. So, that summer I was reading a lot of Thomas Hardy and Lawrence Sanders instead of working on my math and science like he would have preferred - Sanders in defiance of parental authority and Hardy because he completely enthralled me. I continued to consume a combination of literature and "trash" (as my father called it) voraciously through my teens and think it turned out to be a good thing in the end.

J and I have been listening to Teasure Island on CD the last few days. I am not sure how much (if anything) she follows of the story but I am more hooked than I was the first time I read it - a few years before the infamous Fan Club episode. It got me thinking about the lasting impressions that classics leave behind and why returning to an old favorite is such a pleasure.

I can't wait to see J get hooked to reading - introduce her to Erica Jong and Simone de Beauvoir when she reaches the age of defiance. That would be the best inoculation against all things "decadent" and "trashy" that she will doubtless pick up along the way.


ggop said...

Ah, your dad disapproving brought back memories. My dad was so disappointed when he saw me reading Mills and Boon :-)


Heartcrossings said...

I guess I had a need to seriously rattle my dad. Mills and Boons wouldn't do for that :)