Sunday, June 25, 2006

George Will Remembers "Gone"

June 25, 2006 -- CONFINED to her bed in Atlanta by a broken ankle and arthritis, her husband gave her a stack of blank paper and said, "Write a book." Did she ever.

The novel's first title became its last words, "Tomorrow Is Another Day," and at first she named the protagonist Pansy. But Pansy became Scarlett, and the title of the book published 70 years ago this week became 'Gone With the Wind'."

Gone means different things to different people, and it should be read if only to capture what cannot ever be done again. Write a bestseller without succumbing to the politically correct? A chick-read, no less? Go ahead and try. The Great American Novel is still awaiting publication but we live in a time, the likes of which have never been heard of let alone seen before, where nearly half of the citizens of a country detest the very premise of their country being referred to as Great. The grand experiment is on life support not because there are no challenges to rescucitate it, but because the challenges are TOO grand.

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