Thursday, October 8, 2009

Impenetrable Prose

We all get lists, read lists, make lists. Sometimes I look at them and think I should do something with the information; in this case one with a bunch of books and authors we should read – probably should have already read them but …

Every so often I look them up at the library and figure I’ll try to add a little culture and class to my otherwise drab and dreary reading list. Of late I’ve reads tons of non-fiction; just can’t seem to find much fiction that holds or compels me to go on.

My rule of thumb is usually 100 pages. If I’ve invested that much reading time, I should stick it out. Often I find myself giving up after just a few for a variety of reasons. With some of the new stuff that is understandable. Years from now people will just consider much of it drivel anyway.

But what about people like Flannery O’Connor? William Faulkner?

I’ve tried, really tried to get into their books but I just can’t. I know Faulkner is considered THE greatest southern writer. But I’ll swear when he learned to write, they didn’t teach him what a period was. Some of his sentences run on and on and … I need some time for my eyes to breathe. Then my brain can catch up with what is being said.

I read a lot and I’m not a lazy reader but much of what folks consider great fiction of the 20th century (remember we are now in the 21st), I just can’t penetrate.

But I will continue to give it a shot.

Right now I have another O’Connor book, “Wise Blood” which showed up on someone’s ‘best-of’ list so I got it from the library.

I’ll report back in a few days.

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