O My God, I am…
Friday, 11 December 2009
I’m heartily sorry that I haven’t posted in quite some time. For those of you that keep up with my twitter feed, you know it’s currently finals week. This part of the semester always swamps me in work. I feel especially guilty for my absence since I wrote such a motivating post on satisfying goals.
The good news is that my blog is still picking up traffic, which inspires me, and gives me the (possibly false) notion that I have something to say. It’s about to be winter break and I will be posting non-stop. I’m thankful for all of you who stayed with me during this hiatus.
As far as literary news goes, I’ve finished Anna Karenina and Bird by Bird, and I’m starting Up Country by Nelson Demille. Anna Karenina was absolutely amazing. I didn’t think I was the biggest fan of classic Russian literature, (read Crime and Punishment) but Tolstoy’s masterpiece blew me away.
It could be possible that I’m just intimately familiar with the ins and outs of affection and jealousy in relationships, (or that Tolstoy was) but AK spoke to me on a level that few novels recently have. The situations, settings, and characters are almost shockingly believable. I truly felt that I was peering through a portal into real peoples’ lives rather than reading a book.
On the other hand, I wasn’t as impressed with Anne Lamott’s heralded novel, Bird by Bird. I’ve found that a lot of people who write these ‘how to write’ books do it through personal anecdotes. These anecdotes are typically funny little life stories, usually from the writer’s childhood. I’ve recently read King’s On Writing, and realized there’s only so much of these I can handle before the whole topic becomes stale.
Unfortunately, Lamott peppered her numerous anecdotes with humor. I say unfortunately because her attempts to be funny were painfully obvious. All the jokes were along the lines of ‘Life sucks, and if you have a friend who is a good writer, you hate them.” It’s funny to pretend to ‘hate’ friends, but only after the first time.
Also a great deal of her advice came from ‘writer friends’. ‘Writer friends’ may be one of the most pretentious labels for colleagues I’ve ever seen. I cringed every time I read a witty quote that was punctuated with that moniker. This ‘decoration’ got in the way of her message, which was a pretty good one. Anyway, it was a fine read, but it didn’t offer anything I didn’t know. Everyone you know will disagree with me.
I hope I’ll be able to keep posting!
God Save the Books,