• Difficult books

    Some books aren’t meant for everyone. Either because reading them requires a certain knowledge about history, philosophy or simply the author’s background, or because they’re so poorly written that there’s no point in keep reading it, or even because the genre doesn’t suit us. This is common sense, I’d say.

    Then there are the “must read” books; those the critics praise and sentence as mandatory, masterpieces of Literature they say, but which we simply can’t follow. We grab them from the bookcase full of expectation, full of certainty that we’ll spend delightful hours reading them, to end up dropping them at the end of the first chapter. «How’s that possible if everyone says the book is amazing?» we ask ourselves. «Maybe it’s me. I must try to read it in silence or before I go to bed or before everyone gets home or before the cat awakes» and we keep trying to figure out ways to avoid the inevitable outcome: the voice inside our head screaming «that book is boring!» and a certain feeling that we are not smart enough to understand the beauty of it.

    As for me, when a book makes me feel dumm I quit. I put it back on the shelf, grab another one and cuss the intellectuals who praise it and all the friends who recommended it for a few minutes. But I certainly don’t think it’s my problem.

    First of all, because I believe a really good book, a true classic, must be readable to everyone. It’s not the reader who must have a literary degree or an encyclopedic knowledge; it’s the writer who must be able to tell a story beautifully but intelligibly, even when the subject is philosophical. And there are hundreds of authors who do just that.

    Second of all, because there are so many books truly interesting and engaging, that I won’t spend my precious time trying to finish one that is bothering me.

    All this to tell you that, after seventy pages, Marguerite Yourcenars “Memoirs of Hadrian”’ went straight to the boring-book-I-won’t-try-to-read-again shelf. Right next to James Joyce’s “Ulisses” (although that one I tried to read three times already) and Marcel Proust’s “In Search of Lost Time” (I swear I almost finished the first volume…).

    There. I said it. 

    If you like my writing check out my novel here

    0 Comentários

    0 comentários → Difficult books

    Post a Comment