June 11th, 2007

  • pgdf

Sixties Novels, Part 22


MAKING DO, Paul Goodman, Macmillan, 1963

Not much detective work or revelations on my part for this entry, I fear, since writer Paul Goodman is a figure of some history and stature--although his is not a name much bandied about today, in comparison with his reputation during his heyday. You can read all about him here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Goodman_%28writer%29

But this novel from the dawn of my Sixties chronology does offer a platform for one observation: revolutions and cultural upheavals are not exclusively the property of the young.

Goodman was 52 years old when this book appeared, and he subsequently became a countercultural icon. All that it takes to participate in the new is the energy and attitude of youth, not necessarily an actual physiological youth. And sometimes the elders can actually offer valuable perspectives--so long as they don't impede.

It's rather like SF's New Wave. In 1968, such seminal New Wave figures as Aldiss (age 43 then), Ballard (age 38), Brunner (age 34), Ellison (age 34) and Merill (age 45) were shaping a so-called "youth movement." Only Moorcock (age 29), among the big names, was still in his twenties!

Oh, by the way, you ask what MAKING DO is about? Click on the image below to find out!

Anyone who was NOT guilty of a misdemeanor, please raise your hand

God knows I wouldn't have wanted my kids at that New Year's Eve party (drinking, accusations of rape, etc.) but I'm still glad to see the judge dismissed charges against the young man who received a 10 year jail sentence for engaging in a consensual sex act with a fifteen-year-old girl when the boy was seventeen.

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/11/us/11cnd-consent.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

My favorite line here notes that "the state legislature amended the law again, to reclassify most sex acts between teenagers as misdemeanors."   

As opposed to, um, normal (if not perhaps ideal) adolescent behavior?  Haven't any of these people seen Splendor in the Grass?  Or "Spring Awakening" ?


(This also begs the question — what acts are legal?)