Take A Look It’s In A Book
Since I have a bit of time on my hands, especially while Mommy is on nights (only one more week thank God!), I’m reading more. I started off with my usual genre of fantasy. You know elves, dwarves, wizards. Most books follow a fairly standard pattern, unlikely hero, extraordinary times, hidden powers discovered, save the world. Now there is a lot that can be done with it. There is magic or no magic. The anti-hero is always great. Nothing better than a surly, rude, battered mercenary captain being the “good” guy. Yet after a dozen books or so it got slightly boring and predictable.
I then decided to read some books that were a little “heavier”, not weight wise, but in content. I’ve always been an avid reader and have read quite a few of the books deemed classics. I’ve read Tolstoy, Dickens, Rand, and others but I felt that I could benefit from reading some more of the celebrated literature of the world. So I dove in with Utopia, and 1984. Both great books that have oddly poignant parallels to the times we now live in. Next came The Jungle, and The Grapes of Wrath. Again great books amazingly well written. I’d like to think l this reading will, by extension, improve my writing. Even if it doesn’t well then at least next time I’m at a fancy cocktail party (yeah right) I can discuss in knowing terms the classic written word with all the hipsters.
My latest novel is Sophie’s Choice. Again its well written, provocative, and generally great. It has helped me to a decision about classic literature….. It’s depressing. So far all the great novels of history that I’ve read have all been about terrible things. I do wish that some of these novels could be happy, or humorous, I’d even take a good satire. So I’m on a quest to find one. There has got to be at least one out there!
I may need to set aside my little dream of writing great novel. For starters I would need a subject. Not to mention time and ambition. Most importantly though, I don’t think I want to live through what seems to be needed to write one. I plan to keep reading and hopefully I’ll find an uplifting novel in the pantheon of classic lit.