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29+ Værker 1,433 Medlemmer 44 Anmeldelser

Om forfatteren

Maureen Corrigan is the book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, the Critic in residence at Georgetown University, and winner of the Edgar Award for Criticism. She is the author of Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading.

Includes the name: Maureen Corrigan

Værker af Maureen Corrigan

Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books (2005) 1,043 eksemplarer, 31 anmeldelser
Banned Books, Burned Books: Forbidden Literary Works (2022) 10 eksemplarer, 1 anmeldelse
Canceled Authors 1 eksemplar
The Textbook Wars 1 eksemplar

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A series of lectures about censorship that all start with a content warning disclaimer made me chuckle. The lecturer has serious credentials, as both a professor in literary criticism, and long time reviewer of books, including being a judge for the pulitzer prize in 2012. The content is split between a
historical backdrop and working its way toward the modern day, with a near-total US centric focus.

Once we get, roughly at midpoint, closer to the present era, the usual fault lines of this topic begin to emerge. As you would expect from a critic with a gig at NPR there is little second guessing when covering the impact of #MeToo cancellations - accusations is enough to warrant books being removed from publishing or shelves, under the neoliberal idea of "it's not censorship because we're allowed to determine what we stock or sell". However, in lectures about school boards "banning books" for content the ability to buy these banned books and read them isn't brought up as a counterpoint for why it's "not really censorship". The controversy over Critical Race Theory is given a lecture, and dismissed as the fevered imagining of conservatives, yet sprinkled throughout the critical theory (not CRT) assumptions about identity politics are assumed real and not critiqued at all. It's simply given as a fact.
Now to her credit, books being attacked from the left is actually brought up, such as in the context of banning Huck Finn for sensitivity reasons, or going after To Kill A Mockingbird. However, the defense of books turns toothless and pleading in this context, with a deference given to their positions, instead of a full throated defense of missing the whole point of said books. In other words, it's roughly what you'd expect.
The biggest omission from a book with this title though is the hard cases. Most of these controversies are kicking in open doors for book lovers. Al Quaeda propaganda, Mein Kampf, bomb making instructions, open access viral databases, there are a lot more book/information controversies with life and death stakes - worthy for inclusion next to comic books with gay sex scenes?
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A.Godhelm | Oct 20, 2023 |
Bottom line - the time spent reading this would be better used actually rereading The Great Gatsby. Corrigan is a writer with a congenial voice who clearly has a deep affection for the novel - however, far too much of "So We Read On" is spent on Fitzgerald's biography and other contextual matters, while far too little is spent on the text of the novel itself.
jonbrammer | 11 andre anmeldelser | Jul 1, 2023 |
I came late to Gatsby. I don't remember any mention of Fitzgerald when I was in high school, and freshman college english in the late 1950s. But by the 2002 American Lit class I took after retiring it was a major text we read in detail, though without a lot of context. Thus I read Maureen Corrigan's So We Read On mainly to answer the second question in her subtitle, "why it endures."
Now I'm reading The Great Gatsby for my second time and seeing all it's lyrical language, and noticing its symmetrical structure. Can't say I like its characters any more than the first time, but I can appreciate what the novel is doing. Sometimes, learning about an artwork it is as revealing as experiencing it.
Corrigan does a great service for those of us who have wondered what is the big deal about this novel.
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mykl-s | 11 andre anmeldelser | Oct 22, 2021 |
Of course, you're already a Gatsby fan if you choose this book, but the author’s skills are a revelation to me, despite listening to her book reviews forever on Fresh Air. She's a charming combination of a fangirl and an academic, and her analysis of her 100+ reads of the book seems spot on. There's a bit of a shuck on the total whiteness of the novel (except for some blatant racism and, also, contempt for women), but seeing as it was published in 1925, that's a given. What's less palatable is her disinterest in Zelda Fitzgerald, and especially in her respectable novel Save Me the Waltz. Corrigan's tracking down of source documents and reading of Fitzgerald's letters reveals his overwhelming desire to be critically and popularly acclaimed, which did not happen until after his death at 44. The book is a brilliant balance between the real Fitzgerald and the characters Gatsby and narrator Nick, and if she seems to conflate them at times, she's forgiven. There are remarkable insights into the language, structure, and characters, and Corrigan may yet convince you that this is the Great American Novel.

Quote from a Fitzgerald letter: "The whole burden of this novel is the loss of those illusions that give such color to the world, so that you don’t care whether things are true or false as long as they partake of the magical glory.”
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1 stem
froxgirl | 11 andre anmeldelser | Jul 16, 2021 |


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