Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
Otherwise enjoyable, marred by hypocritical left wing slant
am 25. Juli 1999
Could have been very enjoyable, but marred by hypocrisy. In one breath the author is excoriating the elites of literary-criticism for trying to dictate what tastes readers should or shouldn't pursue when in the prior paragraph she had herself criticized businessmen for reading the seven habits of highly effective people, rather than a text she would find more worthy, like Moby Dick. (The Seven Habits is likely suspect to Ms. Fadiman because its written by a religious white male, and read by businessmen -read: greedy caucasian republicans). Her discussion of censorship likewise ignores the dangers posed by the current political correctness movement on college campuses(of which she has only praise), in favor of taking to task right wing parents groups who are concerned about the content of literature being assigned to their youngsters. Then she blithely suggests that the political speeches in Ayn Rand's novels, with which she obviously disagrees, should have been omitted by a good editor. (Free speech for me but not for thee?) There's also a curious sense of anti-maleness to the book. No suggestions for young male readers are provided, only for young girls. And it is strongly hinted that only the female gender truly understands the joy of reading. Maybe the author got this idea because she consulted virtually only with women in writing the book, as shown in her acknowledgements, or maybe her politics are generally based in some sort of hostility to men. Despite all these problems, the stuff about the misunderstood joys of being a young reader, and the typical reaction of one's peers, was wonderful. Too bad the author thinks only young girls, and not any young men,have ever experienced this. She's wrong. I know. But as of yet there aren't any entries in the genre about a young man's experiences with "Lord of the Rings" and "Where the Red Fern Grows" etc., so this will have to do.