Crumb, Library

Crumb – Wise writing words from William Golding


I’ve completed what might be the very best, and greatest and awesomest book ever written. I read it in high school – I had to read it in high school – but have just listened to it again on Audible because my daughter is writing a report on it and I want to be able to do her homework. If you don’t already know, or don’t already have an opinion about the greatest book of all time, I’m writing about THE LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding. I’ll write more about the book in later posts, but I love that Golding himself gives a fireside chat as a wrap-up on Audible.

First, he talks about people’s most pressing question: what’s it about? He confesses that it’s about the inherent evil of human beings and how we need rules to wrap a fence around our evil desires. I’m guessing that he wasn’t a big hit at drinking parties, but this dovetails with another favorite quote of mine from Augustine: societies need the evil of politics because people are evil and, if left to themselves, people and societies do evil things. I’m paraphrasing, of course, so sue me. Or at least tell where I error.

What really liked about his chat, though, was what he said about what it means. Every day, he said he gets letters and email, and it’s brought up in any talk he gives, and – pffff – he’s so tired of the question – what does it mean? 

I’ll tell you what it means, he says: it means whatever you think it means. It doesn’t mean what your teacher or prof says it means, and it doesn’t mean what your study guide says it means, and it doesn’t mean what that popular girl says or what the nerdy book guy says. It means whatever you think it means. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

It was refreshing to me. It was like reading Ray Dalio break every author/book-rule in the opening of his book Principles, saying what no writer ever says: the first parts of the book are mostly stories of how I came up with ideas and how I got to where I am today. You can skip them if they bore you…they dont really add much to the book.” This is how billionaires write books.

And just to set your mind at ease, I recieve nary a single cent from anyone if you look at this book anywhere from whatever reason. You can feel free to donate, though.