"I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten," Ralph Waldo Emerson famously quipped, "even so, they have made me." In this new bi-weekly series, Flavorwire plays professor to some beloved pop-culture characters, assigning reading lists tailored to their temperaments or—in some cases—designed to make them into slightly better people. After all, even fictional characters can have their lives changed by books. Or so we can imagine. To start, here's a reading list for Don Draper.
Don Draper is a reader—definitely the most literary character on Mad Men—and actually betrays relatively eclectic tastes, from John Le Carré's The Spy Who Came In From The Cold to The Best of Everything by Rona Jaffe. He's even been spotted reading some Frank O'Hara, all the better to woo bohemian women with. But what should he be reading? A Draper-specific syllabus (with, admittedly, no attention to temporal plausibility) is below.
The Awakening, by Kate Chopin
Look, Don, there's an artfully exposed breast on the cover. Eh, eh? Seriously, though, this novel is a classic, and one that might just make our semi-hero a little bit more sensitive to the complex internal landscapes of women who feel trapped. Because if there's anyone who needs to learn a little empathy for the opposite sex, it's Don Draper.
Madame Bovary, by Gustave Flaubert