THE PAINTED BIRD
Let's get this bird off the ground. We rather fell into this work, our fist selection for the WP book discussion, because Sobes was looking for a book to read a few weeks back and I had a copy in my office. Rereading the thing this past week brought to the surface a couple of deeply felt gut instincts of my own: 1) people will always remain essentially barbarians, despite the thin veneer of civilization with which we try to cover ourselves, and 2) never trust anyone. Considering the controversy surrounding the book, I wonder, and offer this as a topic of discussion, whether or not it matters if this is fiction or a catalogue of horrors from Kosinski's early life? Is the story, and the writing, powerful enough to elevate The Painted Bird to 'great book' (not in the Columbia or U of Chicago sense) status? Or is this just an example of twisted Holocaust-porno posing as great literature?