The Classics

My daughter thinks she knows everything. How little does she actually know. Tonight we got into a drawn out argument about reading the classics. I have decided that it is imperative that she study them. She has decided that they're all boring.

She made fun of Steinbeck. Wrong move. Her characterization had to do with detail - she laughed about Steinbeck's ability to bring into sharp focus a single moment in time - to describe it in detail. She mocked how Steinbeck would describe crossing a street - looking at every pebble.

Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors. Needless to say I decided to phrase my counterargument carefully. There is a certain coldness to certainty that can come through. This was an argument she would not win. My child will not throw away "East of Eden", or "The Grapes of Wrath" .. or "Cannery Row".

She is now reading a classic, in her bed. You have to have arguments like this with your children. Being upset at them doesn't pay off - the process is hard to describe but you will have alot more fun with kids if you realize you're the boss, and that you can actually make permanent decisions on their behalf.

I am not going to tell you what she is reading right now - only that it is a work of existentialism - and that when she opened it up and actually read it - the first paragraph shocked her. It intertwines adolescent love, sex, religion and grief.

The author later became an artist - here is one of his works.

And the quotation that starts off the book is this:

51 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will all be changed.