Daily Dose Of Snobbery
I just read that Oprah chose Gabriel Garcia Marquez' Love in the Time of Cholera for the next book club read. I don't watch Oprah, nor do I follow her book club proffering, but this one just made me laugh my fool head off.
Why? I read that book when I was FOURTEEN. I'm not that old, but trust me, that was a while ago. I hate hate hate this idea of "discovering" new books that have been around for upward of twenty years, like the author was just languishing in obscurity until the Queen of Talk Shows bestows her gold-plated endorsement. I have no particular beef with Oprah, and I applaud her for all her successes, but I really despise this idea that a celebrity has to tell you what to read. It's not quite as bad as listening to them to figure out your political views, but it's close. In a way, I suppose I should be glad that Garcia Marquez is becoming even more popular, but at the same time, I'm kind of chafing at the thought of him being the new hot ticket for a vast swath of people (ok, fine, middle aged suburban moms who read probably one book per month or year or however often Oprah tells them to) who don't know the difference between Colombia and Columbus.
Before anyone jumps on me in the comments section, I am fully accepting and embracing my bitchy literary snobbishness here, so feel free to sling mud, but rest assured I will turn my nose up at it.
PS As I read the article more carefully, without the spewing vitriol, I discover that One Hundred Years of Solitude was a former pick. To which I say, the above still stands. Whatevs.
by at October 05, 2007 9:24 AM
PPS Reading through the book club selections since 1996 on Wikipedia. It is still fueling my vitriol, but in an almost comical way. Anna Karenina? FOURTEEN. The Good Earth? TWELVE. William Faulkner's oeuvre? TWELVE. Toni Morrison's? TWELVE. I think I might need to just tack a sign on my forehead now that reads "Pretentious and obnoxious, was allowed unfettered access to the library at an impressionable age". Christ.