Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sorry, what I meant was...

In my Wasted youth post I tossed off a line about a pair of my relatives being "literary snobs". Of course, what I meant was that Tom and Maureen have actually read virtually all those books that everyone who is truly literate is supposed to have read.
They have no need for the best selling book "How To Talk About Books You Haven't Read'.
You know, this could be a parlor game, in which each person tries to top the others by admitting to not having read various "essential" works of literature. In a quick aside, I could get a great score in this game by confessing to never having read one book written by Ernest Hemingway.
Here is an example of what I mean about Maureen and Tom's literary knowledge: As we walked, a couple of weeks ago, to the J. Pierpont Morgan Museum and Library, I happened to mention that I was reading Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice(after having enjoyed the dvd of "Being Jane"). I asked a vague question of them about the financial aspects of Jane Austen's gentrified period, in which people, usually young men, are referenced as having "three thousand pounds a year", or similar amounts.
Not only did they understand but they could answer. The next few blocks of walking were filled with information about academic works addressing inheritance traditions, value of land, what entails actually are, cost of living, and how inflation would have changed the value of those numbers. I learned all I needed to know about what I had questioned.
Maybe we will eventually hear about Maureen and Tom's literary tour of New England.

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