Book Review Soup


i have neglect­ed a dis­cus­sion of On the Road and here i am fin­ished with 1984 and start­ing Cat’s Cra­dle by Kurt Von­negut. Ker­ouac influ­ence and that of the beat move­ment on my present under­stand­ing of pop­u­lar cul­ture came through with full force. how­ev­er the bohemi­an lifestyle is any­thing but appeal­ing to me. i would love to trav­el the coun­try and see the sites and have adven­tures, but every night is one of ‘spon­ta­neous’ carous­ing and spu­ri­ous half con­struc­tions of world­view that fade away faster than the hang­over at the end of the night. his point as i see it, is to give exam­ple of the idea that life should be lived for enjoy­ment, not mere exis­tence. no moment should be wast­ed. how­ev­er, the enjoy­ment that i see in his book is the same stuff i reject utter­ly and i see all of the time. alco­hol, sex and wan­ton­ness do not ful­fill me. i need stuff with more sub­stance. i guess like i sound like an old fart, but so what.

1984 on the oth­er hand, was bet­ter this time than it was when i read it in high school. i under­stand more about soci­ety and cul­ture and in read­ing 1984 i see the hand of emil? durkheim all over the place. i think the log­i­cal end of the mat­ing between fas­cism and com­mu­nism in the nov­el is extinc­tion. in this sense i agree with win­ston but for dif­fer­ent rea­sons. his were mere­ly an emo­tion­al ‘its not fair, you’ll nev­er get away with this’ atti­tude, but i believe the intri­ca­cies of dou­ble­think and the erad­i­ca­tion of inde­pen­dent thought will kill The Par­ty. Why? because the par­ty lead­ers in the book have suf­fi­cient men­tal prowess to tweak the sys­tem and adapt to changes, but with the crys­tal­liza­tion of the social struc­ture and the com­plete real­i­ty con­trol it will con­tain, no one will be able to replace those the mem­bers of the inner par­ty, the result? end­less par­rot­ing and repli­ca­tion of action. mem­bers of The Par­ty will swal­low this eas­i­ly enough, but stag­na­tion only lasts so long until some­one smells some­thing rot­ten and throws it out into the trash. it will have to be the pro­les, mind­less, seething, rau­cous. une­d­u­cat­ed does not mean blind, nor stu­pid. they’ll fig­ure it out even­tu­al­ly although it might take a very long time.