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.