Tuesday, August 12, 2014

US History 1973 - 2014 Commonplace Book: Lecture 21, Tabloid Nation II: Monica (Con't)

You can almost read it as a novel in the classic tradition... Not since Richardson's "Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded," one of the first novels, has so much ink been spilled on a pas de deux between a guy who owns a big manor house and the girl who works there, with the difference that this girl, unlike that one, succumbs. (So, "Monica; or, Sin Punished.")...

—Adam Gopnik, reading the Starr Report as a work of literature (1998)

People seem to be trying to parse "The Report" from scratch, as though its subject were entirely new. But there is a whole literature devoted to the question of adultery, transgression, and the law, and that literature is called "literature." It has what are called "points" and "morals," and first among them is to be extremely suspicious of anyone who tries to compress the erotic life into overly pointed morals.

Introduction to (and explanation of) this quote series can be found here.  Read this tag to see all of them.

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