There are times in life when I want to shake my head and if I was living in America, I would exercise my 2nd Amendment right to bear arms and take my life; this moment in my life is one of those moments.
I find today that the single most famous character in English [and American] Literature is in fact, as racist as they come, or so it seems if reports are to be believed.
I have read about Atticus Finch all my life. In 1991 and 1992 I read the book. I have seen the film more times than I would care to mention. I see images of Gregory Peck in this most famous role and I remember the feeling I get when Atticus walks out of that court room and the only people left rise to show their respect of him and what he has done for Tom Robinson, who we suspect will then go on to his demise.
Now I have to suffer this:
and I see that things I have thought, as well as taught over the years, need to be changed, if reports are to be believed.
If, as we suspect, Go Set A Watchman, the new novel by Harper Lee, shows Atticus, the God of the courtroom, the epitome of fatherhood, to be an ageing racist, then this guy is going to be one disappointed individual indeed. I will cry bitterly.
With this in mind, I ask that you view any comments made on this blog about my favourite novel and character as what they are, a reflection of the novel at the time it was written and a critique of the writer’s skills in the time I was writing them.
When I have read the next novel and have stopped crying, I will venture forth into a critical review of the book for you all and a blog piece on how the 2nd novel makes reading the first a different task indeed.
Until then, happy reading.