Yin and Yang of the Many Worlds of Literature
There are so many aspects of literature that it is hard
to define or confine. It entails a huge publishing world
that is becoming more complex by the day. Readers may
blithely indulge in their favorite genre without giving
it much though. Awards. Editing. Printing. Formatting.
The kaleidoscope parts of fiction from structure to
lately I’ve been noticing a yin and yang of literature.
It’s a little like matter and the dark stuff that
physicists now talk about. So many exciting developments,
but then a pull or tug of something gloomy, destructive,
or even evil.
Cook’s curbside library in Los Angeles is a case
in point. These do-it-yourself libraries have been sprouting
up in isolated spots across the nation (maybe the world),
usually hand-built affairs. Scrap two-by-fours. Old
crates. Discarded tarps or garbage bags used as liners.
Each, if not deserving of being called a sculpture,
is at least a creative effort of the owner, one that
reflects a love of learning and a need to share. They
even have a way of bring small communities together—kind
of like block parties. Take a book, leave one, or swap.
It’s all the same to those who love books and
reading at these libraries. No strings attached.
good deed goes unrewarded. But then along comes the
dark matter, the yang. Along comes an ogre who doesn’t
like that the library is planted on the grass strip
between sidewalk and street. Yikes. Such an infringement!
He or she—we don’t know which because grinches
often prefer to stay anonymous—forgets that public
property is supposed to benefit the public. So poor
Cook gets reported and his readers suffer.
course, when a violation is reported, the city has to
follow up. They, too forget that rules are meant to
be broken. Especially when no zoning rule has been broken
other than utilizing a nice little grassy spot near
the curb where a book can be accessed easily. They forget
that their first duty may not be to police zoning laws
so much as to protect the people and add a modicum of
neighborliness to any community.
they miscalculate, though. Did Cook just cave when confronted
with the almighty hand of the government? I should say
not. He and his fellow book lovers are fighting the
city. And with journalists and columnists like LA
Times’ Steve Lopez around to broadcast Cook’s
plight, they just might win the war against this particular
zoning law that needs to be bent—and against the
one last thing. Journalism is our key to freedom. Sometimes
it seems as if we are all too hasty to criticize it.
But that love of reading, that urge to read what we
want without fear of censorship? That’s one of
those aspects of literature that we need to protect
with every ounce of our beings. Journalism is one of
the ways we keep the light side brighter and stronger
than the dark.
multi award-winning The
Frugal Editor is now in its second
edition—as an e-book (the print edition
is coming a bit later.) It’s been
reformatted, updated and expanded.
Tip for Readers' Tip:
If you have a favorite author and
have no idea how to thank him or her for
the many hours of pleasure he or she has
provided, why not pass your fondness forward?
Add a reader review to Amazon.com or BN.com.
Or mention them on Facebook with a link
to the buypage on Amazon. Or here’s
a biggie! Offer to give them a reading party
in your home. You could even make it a book