Thursday, March 16, 2006

L'étagère scandaleuse de livre

WP's Tenets of Parenting, subheading: The Scandalous Bookshelf. If you, as a parent, don't have a bookshelf devoted to titles that will surely mortify your teenage children, you aren't doing your job.

I think on this score I may perhaps be a bit overzealous. There are at least a dozen religious books that spring to mind -- if you cleared the words from the covers, the graphics alone would be cringe-inducing. Then there's daddy's sci-fi shelf. And Batman comics? What's that all about? Oooh, look: Lou Reed's Collected Lyrics & Verse -- "Hey, I'm still, like, edgy -- y'know?"

I can't resist. The urge to collect and display books that will embarrass my kids -- if not now, then later -- is just too strong. It was this very principle that explicity informed my recent purchase of Michel Houllebecq's Elementary Particles (well, that and its remaindered price of $2.99). It's right there on The Scandalous Bookshelf, just waiting for the day when one or the other child will say, "Eww -- what's this doing here?" And if I don't hear those words by the time the youngest turns 15, it disappears.

(Re: Houllebecq, when all is said and done and read, I have to admit I agree with this guy -- link from ALD. And if you want more photographs like the one above, go to the source: Diane Asséo Griliches. Link from BookLust.)


DarkoV said...

Maybe I was mis-reading, but nowhere in this entry did you mention reading Michel Houllebecq's "Elementary Particles". I was just wondering because I've never known anyone who's read this book but plenty of folks that have them on their Faux Lit list.
Have you been studiously cultivating spiders, specifically those spiders whose web weaving skills are both quick and curtain-like, thus increasing the "Eeewwww" factor?

Whisky Prajer said...

heh heh - no, I haven't read the book. What I have done, though, is give it the very treatment I gave so many of my University texts: I've perused it, subjecting it to a scornful zippety-do-dah level of attention and slowing down just enough in spots so that I can answer questions with a smidgen of assumed authority. Ask the kids are fond of saying these days: my bad.

The spiders, on the other hand, are coming along nicely.