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Racist Atticus Finch was first Atticus Finch


Welp, Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman went on sale today, and lefty hearts exploded all over the world. Here, if you needed some cheering up, some quotes from the article I just linked:

The New York Times said the revelation could “reshape Ms Lee’s legacy” and made for “disturbing reading”.

Writing for The Guardian, Mark Lawson said: “If the text now published had been the one released in 1960, it would almost certainly not have achieved the same greatness. This is not so much due to literary inferiority, but because Go Set a Watchman is a much less likeable and school-teachable book.

The Independent’s Arifa Akbar said: “We will never be able to read Mockingbird in the same way again, and never see Atticus in the same light again.

(By the way, LOL at the name Arifa Akbar. You reckon when they call out her table in a restaurant, everybody hits the deck?).

This is because Watchman’s Atticus Finch is a racist who once belonged to the Klan (“when it was respectable, like the Masons”) and says things like, “Do you want your children going to a school that’s been dragged down to accommodate Negro children?”

Oh, the book is still anti-racist — it takes place twenty years after Mockingbird and the whole point is that a grownup, sophisticated Scout winces at the n-word — but Atticus Finch was a beloved icon, now unceremoniously de-pedestalled.

Tee hee.

Even better, it turns out Watchman was actually the first draft of Mockingbird. Lee’s literary agent read it and thought it would work better if she extracted the flashbacks and made them into their own book. So racist Atticus was there all along, the first and original Atticus.

Tee hee hee.

If any of you actually read it, would you let me know if it’s well written? Because she never published again, there was a persistent rumor that Truman Capote, her lifelong friend (and the model for Dill) was the actual author.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 14, 2015, 9:46 pm

Someone has taken all the startup and shutdown sounds of the Windows OS, from 3.1 to 7, and slowed them down 800%. It’s remarkably beautiful.

Sounds like the kind of theme music they put behind mindfulness meditation podcasts.

Comment from Stark Ðickflüßiᵹ
Time: July 14, 2015, 11:06 pm

Sorta like when we took that silly “Whale Songs” record out of the ol’ National Geographic and played it at 78. Hey, grampa, whales sound just like birds!

Comment from Stark Ðickflüßiᵹ
Time: July 14, 2015, 11:07 pm

Also, paulstretch.py is pretty sweet with early Kate Bush albums, too.

Comment from Stark Ðickflüßiᵹ
Time: July 14, 2015, 11:26 pm

Could a 4½£ mockingbird even fly?

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: July 14, 2015, 11:31 pm

I find the whole thing hillarious – instead of being a great truther-speaker of her time, Harper Lee’s truth-speaking was carefully edited to fit the Left’s agenda of the day. It was obviously a wise choice by the editor. One would speculate that the Book Reviewers , English Professors, and Librarians of the time were as liberal as they are now, and the editor knew what would sell. Still, the “true truth of the truth teller” has eventually leaked out…albeit 50 years later.

This gives me great hope that the Global Warming/Climate Change true truth will eventually out.

This gives me great

Comment from AliceH
Time: July 14, 2015, 11:33 pm

I never read TKaM.

Never saw the movie, either. I started to watch it several times, but meh. Gregory Peck, handsome as he is, always struck me as not a very bright person, and not a good enough actor for that not to matter.

Comment from Pupster
Time: July 14, 2015, 11:53 pm

You reckon when they call out her table in a restaurant, everybody hits the deck?).

This made me lol in my pants.

Comment from Steamboat McGoo
Time: July 15, 2015, 12:19 am

Stark Ðickflüßiᵹ – is that a European Mockingbird or an African Mockingbird?

At age 62+, I refuse to read anything that will spoil my view of Gregory Pecks Academy Award winning performance of Atticus Finch in TKaM.

I saw the flick at a drive-in theater with my mom and dad when it came out – I was about 10 years old then, I think – and distinctly remember my “first” young impression of what honor and dignity and integrity really was expected in an adult. I have never forgotten it.

I also distinctly remember being pants-crapping scared when Boo’s shadow creeps up on Jem outside the Radley house – just before Jem loses his own recently-crapped-and-still-steaming pants.

Comment from scr_north
Time: July 15, 2015, 1:04 am

Oh dammit! I really enjoyed her first book book and thought the movie was great. Was looking forward to the second (or is it really the first) book but now not so sure. I’ll probably end buying it anyway. The only bright spot is if it pisses off liberal progs out there. One thing though, it does point out a certain courage on behalf of Harper Lee in publishing a novel that could hurt the legend she created in her first novel.

Comment from Stark Ðickflüßiᵹ
Time: July 15, 2015, 2:07 am

Stark Ðickflüßiᵹ – is that a European Mockingbird or an African Mockingbird?

A mockingbird that weighs 2 kilos is probably American.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: July 15, 2015, 2:08 am

The Microsoft sounds from Windows 3.1 onward are the work of Englishman Brian Eno of well-deserved ambient music fame. The initial requirements for Microsoft make intriguing reading.

If you don’t recognize the name, you may know him by his birth name: Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno. (-:

Comment from Becca
Time: July 15, 2015, 3:04 am

What about the parents who named their children Atticus?


Comment from Diego Whitworth
Time: July 15, 2015, 3:27 am

“Because she never published again, there was a persistent rumor that Truman Capote, her lifelong friend (and the model for Dill) was the actual author.”

Fun fact: Lee and Capote lived next to each other in Monroeville, Alabama, the Capote house is gone except for the foundation and an historical marker, the Lee house is gone and a mom&pop hamburger and ice cream joint in its place.

I suppose this is really a good thing because now the SJWs can’t hunt her house down and deface it.

Comment from Wolfus
Time: July 15, 2015, 2:27 pm

I managed somehow to escape being forced to read TKaM in school, so that when I came to it as an adult I could simply enjoy the story — the humor in Scout’s narration, the evocation of a little Alabama town and its denizens good and bad, and the extraordinarily net surprise at the end. I want to read this one too, but I think I’ll wait a little while until the furor dies down.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: July 15, 2015, 8:54 pm

I was surprised to see it for sale here today. Well, in the bookshop, not so much. But in Waitrose? (High end snooty supermarket).

Comment from Christina
Time: July 16, 2015, 8:13 pm

Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, TN, has a literary magazine, and there was an article in the magazine, sometime around 2007-8 that made a very good case for “To Kill A Mockingbird” being actually written by a black man in Lewisburg, TN, just up the road from Pulaski. The man had self-published his book after having sent it to the same publisher who published Harper Lee. I wish I could track down the magazine issue or the name of the guy in Lewisburg. The person who wrote the article had actually obtained a copy of the man’s self-published book.

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