Atticus Finch isn’t perfect: get over it

You aren’t, either.
Today my copy of Go Set a Watchman arrived… finally (one whole day after release, the torture). I may never pre-order a book again. Then again, it could just be I shouldn’t have pre-ordered this book. You see, I’m on a sort of internet black out, at least a bookish internet blackout and since I adore the bookish internet, this is torture. I am not reading reviews, discussions of reviews, spoilers, other’s opinions, anything, until I’ve read it. I haven’t read one word, yet, and if it’s poorly written or horrible in some way, I will be sad, but still fascinated because we’ll get a glimpse into the difference between a first ‘finished’ draft and what it became: the creative/editorial process at work!

I was attempting this, but I do scan the front page of the New York Times every day, so I know, I read, I processed. Really dumb, NYT, really dumb. You know what you did.

Ok, one spoiler coming. If you are somehow completely off the grind (and yet reading this.. hmmm), and don’t know, the NYT has spoiled that Attitus may be a racist, in the headline of the review no less. Again: really dumb, NYT, really dumb. What do I think about the perfect father and lawyer, not being ever so perfect? A. He’s a white man, in the south, in the 1950s… he’s not unusual. B. He should also be in 70s by the time of Go Set a Watchmen. I’m sure we all know older people with views different than the current times, and we still love them. C. He’s a human being, thus by definition not perfect and what is literature, but a device to hold a mirror to ourselves? To Kill a Mockingbird was a fairly unflinching look at a town at a period of time, why should this be different. If we ignore our past because we don’t like it, we are dishonest. Frankly, it sort of makes me like him more because he still did the right thing.

So, I can’t wait… and I hope you can’t, either, and won’t let something like an imperfection deter you. Plus, Scout all grown up and living in NYC!

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