I asked the other folks at XO if they were excited about the new "Great Gatsby" coming out soon and what they thought of the trailer for the new movie. Then I found myself quickly changing topics to Louis C.K.'s new HBO special "Oh My God." Why? Because C.K. drops not one but two classic lit references in his special, the first being that he talks about it being a pretty good life because we get to read "To Kill a Mockingbird," and then he has this great bit about breastfeeding -- after he imagines what it would be like if adult breastfeeding were a "thing." Then he brings up the John Steinbeck classic.
"I don't know if you read 'The Grapes of Wrath' but that's how it ends. With an old dying man sucking the milk out of a young girl's tit and then the book is over. And you're like: Jesus! What happened at the end there, that's crazy. There's no other book in that genre. There's no dense historic classic that ends with a weird porny paragraph at the very -- 'And then Anna Karenina shat on his chest.' Holy moly with that. 'The end.' Oh my God! That is a violent shift in tone at the end of that book. I've been reading this book for three months." -- Louis C.K.
The other xoJane staffers did not immediately free-associate to C.K., but Daisy did tell us: "It was always interesting to have a name so similar to Daisy Buchanan since she wasn't exactly a literary hero. Luckily, most people are morons and don't read and instead just compared me to Daisy Duke my entire life. (I don't know why that is lucky when it's really just sad.)"
Kate Conway said: "Everyone in my grade was obsessed, weirdly, with Nick's mean tennis-playing girlfriend Jordan. In fact, that's most of what I retained from my high school reading of it -- the way to get navel-gazing dudes to like you is to be mean to them and play tennis. ::expansive shrug::"
Oh, and if you ARE excited about the new movie, toofab.com recently posted New "Great Gatsby Photos" -- Classic Literature Never Looked This Good! The photos ARE gorgeous.
So are you excited to see the movie or do you think it will be ruined? And did you like the book as a kid? (I actually did not. Didn't hate but I just found it offputting.) Do you think my thesis that classic lit is hot is a total stretch? Did you watch Louis C.K.'s special? What is your favorite classic lit book? I think mine might actually be "To Kill a Mockingbird." Discuss!
Find Mandy long-form at http://tinyurl.com/stadtmiller.