Archive for Harper Lee

Go Set A Watchman Commentary

Yes, there were spoilers in the review/commentary of Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman, but let’s be grown up. Read the book or belly up to the intellectual bar, or both.

After all, the new (really the very old) Lee novel is under 200 pages. They read well because even before all the editing that morphed this rudimentary work into her To Kill A Mockingbird, her splendid observations and analysis of Southern, small-town life find excellent expression in lyric prose. Even in her 20s, she wrote far better than nearly all of us.

I concentrated on how we might interpret the big shocks, particularly Jean Louise finding that her father Atticus and maybe future husband Henry are in with deep South racists in Maycomb, AL. That is so apropos in this era of murder of black folk by white cops and everyone from the SCOTUS to Congress to state legislatures trying to limit African-American rights to vote and more.

Nearly all of us grew up with Mockingbird as a book and/or a movie. The simple moralism and openness to all are lessons as useful as base Christianity or Scouting (pardon the pun). Some things are just right and others just wrong.

I did get into differences in what happened in the two books and what we’d expect of the primary characters. I spoke of the few major flaws of Watchman. Yet, I would like others to read the new/old book. It is good literature at least three-quarters and thought-provoking ever it lags.

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