Monday, October 22, 2007


Wow, where am I?

This is the first time in a very long time that I was so caught up in a book that I could not stop reading, and everything else fell by the wayside. It's like living in an other world, and your own reality world is the stranger. That's the place where you are sleepwalking, being there, but not really. This day is a marvelous day, an Indian Summer day, to sit in the sun, feel the gentle warmth, smell the spicy aroma's of maturing nature, and just be carried away into the other world, but still a compatible world, a world where you feel familiar, but where you learn about, and from, others and therefore more about yourself too.

And I wonder again. Why, often I read books, where the subject matter interests me, where I want to keep on reading, but they really do not hold my attention without forcing myself. I think of other things to do, I make many pauses, I fall asleep, I am bored in a way, but still want to know...

So many rows of books in book stores, in libraries. How few that really, really capture you into that other world, that really is your own at the same time.

Are some books good, but badly written? Like good grammar and so, but without lure? Are there stories that are forced? Like not really coming from the depths of a soul? Sort of like someone playing the piano, faultless but not stirring you in any way? Whereas someone playing the piano with stumbles and maybe even wrong notes, sill stirs you, makes you feel all soft and excited inside and you listen with fascination, understanding love?

I can make room for books that may be well written from the heart, but bring story that lies outside my experience. If you have nothing to tie it too, you cannot make it your own in any way. It maybe for example, outside your cultural experience.

I still think that not everyone who writes poems, is a poet. Not everyone who writes story, is a born storyteller. Not everyone who paints, draws pictures, is a true artist. There is a difference, isn't there?

The book I just finished reading and had me under its spell, is,

The Day My Mother Left, by James Prosek. It's a novel, based on th author's own experiences. He's also an artist and loves the natural world.

Of course that may be an indication why his story telling grabs me so much.

Wild Thing


Anonymous said...

Reading and writing - they are about making connections. With oneself sometimes (if you're the writer) - maybe that is the first draft process. And then connections with others - when you let someone into you world and thoughts.

I've come to believe that once someone else reads your story or poem, takes it into themselves, it becomes theirs - this internalizing changes the story from the author's original intention. It's like those VENN graphs (I think that's what they are called), where there is a place where two overlapping circles meet, and that is the common ground. Then there are places that belong to each of the circles alone...

I think reading is much about the reader linking the words to their own experiences and thoughts - like you did, WT, reading that book - a book is a bridge.

Anonymous said...

While cooking potatoes & beets for supper, it occurred to me that, yes, writing and reading is exchange, and how you like what you read has to do with what appeals to you, if the subject matter is familiar to you, and how it connects with what you are at, this time of your life...

But good writing & style are also a big factor. I remember how I was facinated and couldn't stop reading the books of Ayn Rand. ("Fountainhead", "Atlas shrugged"). Burned suppers, and dry cooked kettles were rampand. But then when I came to think of it, her subject matter was foreign to me. I disagreed with her, afterwards, But while reading I didn't realize what a fascist she was. (Super race, blond, blue eyed people...) While reading, I believed her. I was so absorbed in story.
That must have to do with style and good writing.?