Paradigm Shift

For over a decade, I've been reading academic works:  literature from various canons, literary and culture theory, rhetorics, fragments of dissertations, blah blah.  My favorite all-time works are among those my students call "boring," "complex," "confusing," "weird," or "too hard."

1984, by George Orwell
The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer
Being There, by Jerzy Kosinski
Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
Short stories by Raymond Carver and David Foster Wallace
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk
Christopher Hitchens, Barbara Ehrenreich, Andrew Sullivan, Gary Soto

...a list essentially decided for me by a community who thinks they know what's worth reading.

Admittedly, I'm pretty stuffy when it comes to literature I present to my college students.  I want them to read something that they can write critically about, something that they can use in other college courses.  Authors who contribute to the development of humanity.

I had no idea what I was missing!

You mean you can read for pleasure?  I'd forgotten.  You can read to be titillated?  To be purely entertained?  You can actually read and enjoy something that isn't written well?

Twilight quite literally changed my life.  It's certainly not a work that will change the face of literature--or will it?  I started asking myself rusty questions--questions I hadn't really considered since grad school.  What is story?  What is the cultural responsibility of an author?  Which is more valuable: canonization or readability?  Does a novel have to be "good" to be "important"?

Or maybe the point is that these questions are irrelevant to one's enjoyment of reading.

In any event, I'm having a great time.  I can't completely bury my bitchy academic self, but I find that it takes a pretty heavy nap while I'm drowning in ichor, brushing my lips against a warewoof's, or casting revenge spells on all the bimbos who hate me.

It's become blindingly apparent that the parapseudo world needs an academic champion. I'm thinking it might be me (and other academics bored with the same-ol'-same-ol').