Sunday, July 19, 2015

Go Home Faulkner, You're Drunk ('Difficult Books' series)

In my quest to 'broaden my literary horizon' I made a point to go out of this  terrible 'complaisant zone' I am currently at. To be honest, my reading state is probably a lot bleaker that what I'm letting on: I have not finished a novel since three months ago!

As penitensya for my incessant lack of drive and, I suppose, to jolt my brain back to the pace it used to enjoy prior to this reading drought, I decided that I must go the route of reading 'Difficult Books'.

"A difficult book is still just a book", I told myself; how silly to get hung up on what other people say about how much of a PitA it is to slough through. I pride myself on reading basically everything I get my hands on. Because when all your life you've felt that reading a book was the warmest, most comfortable state to just be, it feels as natural as a breeze turning a page.

So I grabbed a copy of William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury.

I am lucky enough to be at this point in my life where I am allowed (and I allow
myself!) the pleasure of time to do the things I want to when the day is alive and bright and shining. I started to read Sound/Fury under a tree at a local park.

Others say Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco is a 'Difficult Book'. Despite the obvious bandwagon of people just determined to hate it, I beg to disagree. It was a superbly written, thrilling piece of literature that truly made me think about all the collosal records lost or preserved about the hidden knowlege of the world, throughout the history, throughout different societies, and the intricacies of hidden meaning that are protected from the collective. But this... this Sound/Fury is something else. It is a very Difficult Book.

Granted, the novels are completely different, but the level of reading comprehension feels, for me at least, almost the same. I was required to find the flow of the story, voices of the characters when in dialogue, and imagine worlds that I've never been in with just a few descriptive paragraphs. But Sound/Fury required me to let go of the usual/familiar structure.The first 5 pages were severe. It felt like lurching through a different time, landing in the middle of an arguing group of strangers.

I'm not giving up on reading this book, but I feel that its not the right moment for me to pick it up and resume reading but that's okay! We all get to read another day :) For now I'll think of what book to pick up next, and also play with the pigeons that want to join me on my picnic (but I have a nagging suspicion they're just in it for the bread.)

Ok then, next I'm picking up: The History of Sexuality (Vol. I) by Michel Foucault. Non-fiction. Philosophy and History. Bracing myself for the impact!

See you~
Happy reading