Saturday, April 2, 2016

Great Novels are Not Page Turners. Neither is your Life.

664 pages. Done. It has been a very long time since I have read a fiction book. One of the main characters is a therapist, so, a slight link into my personal interests there. It was long and drawn out and poetic and felt like some of it was going on and on like fiction does. Because I am out of the habit of reading it. Within fiction the stories can be long and seem boring, and I am not the great reader that I was. Yes, I was a great reader when I was a child, but trust me I was never a great math-er. And my English was really bad compared to many who love to read. Sentence structure, meh. I genuinely had a hard time learning the rules of grammar and never cared for them much. That would be my greatest struggle if I were to ever write at length. I would need a mean editor to yell at me and tell me how every sentence I write is awfully composed, because I do not know how to do it. I would also like a second editor who would be nice to me and compliment my thoughts and ideas.

I was reminded of something while reading this long book that I liked but wasn't sure I loved. I was reminded of living. Parts of it were incredibly satisfying, but others, I was tempted to skip over or at least skim. I tried to not do it. I really respect this author and hidden within paragraph after paragraph of seemingly boring text there would be a beautiful sentence, a phrase that was captivating and night-altering. This was not the kind of book that I had to stay up through the night to finish because I needed to know the end.  From what I remember, that is not what the original "Greats" are trying to accomplish in their writing. They are helping you become, not getting you somewhere, fast. It wasn't until almost the end of the book that I realized that I really did like this book... yet I am so out of the practice of reading a great novel, I can hardly recognize it anymore. It is an absolute worthwhile read.

Pat Conroy (the late, RIP) was imparting a slow, lovely message to me in The Prince of Tides. I've got some work to do, some character to build, or perhaps rebuild, a better person I can still be, and maybe a few more slow novels to read. To remember what it is like to really live slow again. To read and read and read, knowing the words will come eventually.

Happy Becoming,


"He thought he understood the American soul and learned that he could not even sound the depths of his own." - Luke, The Prince of Tides


Donna Boucher said...

Susan Wuse Bauer taught in the well educated mind...the first question when reading is what does the character want. Thus... What do you want? Slow reading. It's a good thing. It's good for your noggin, like Latin.

Post a Comment