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Monday, February 21, 2022

Rip Van WinkleRip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This classic story is a classic for good reasons. Good on the surface, good in metaphor, and good in political discourse.

But of course, no one has to pick up on the political discourse bit. And we don't even need to look deep to figure out what it's about.

Nah. I'd rather just read this on the surface. It's easy to get by in life if you just ignore the shrews and fall asleep for 20 years and come back having wasted your entire life away. Because, let's face it, magical or not, you can still waste your entire life away. And isn't that the whole point?

Think not what you can do today. Think only of what you can put off till tomorrow.

Right, America?

(Full spoilery bit: Rip falls asleep for 20 years and completely misses out on the American Revolution. It doesn't bother him and he doesn't bother it. His wife hated his inability to provide for his family and hated how he always helped his neighbors and not her. In the end, it's a blessing he fell asleep because it was the only way to escape her. On the other level, his wife was England, he was the Colonies. But if that's the case, then the Colonies were layabouts and most of them got through the Revolution by doing nada. Seen that way, also through modern eyes, this is a story that glorifies the idea that other people will always do the heavy lifting. There's hardly a bit of shame in it.)

It's quite a fine story. Very tongue-in-cheek and I prefer to read it the wrong way because I'm a goofball. ;)

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