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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Book Loyalty...

There seems to be a pervasive tendency to finish book one doesn't enjoy. At least in my case, that is. I had to finish Thomas Pynchon's "Slow Learner," I just had to. I finally reached the end today, after a week and a half (or more) of struggling to make sense of those stories. The last one in particular was a tough one. The Secret Integration finally makes sense in the end. A group of youngsters plan "maneuvers" against the adult world. These are little pranks that never materialize but the boys find it fun to actually plan them with great military jargon. The "integration" of the story plays on two different levels. On the one end, the integration is explained as a calculus problem: "'The opposite of differentiation,'" Grover said, drawing an x-axis, y-axis and curve on his greenboard. 'Call this function of x. Consider the values of the curve at tiny little increments of x..." The reality of the story's idea of integration is different though. It deals with racial integration and the boys are just too young to understand. A black family moves into their neighborhood and the adults are up in arms about it. The boys befriend the black family's kid, Carl. At the end of the story, the reader is presented with this... Carl is not real, it is simply an imaginary friend the boys have made up. I know... confusing, no? But the loyalty I had with this book made me finish it and I feel all the better for it.

Next is Rilke's "Letters to a Young Poet." I am writing a little at a time. I am not writing with any sense of direction. I am just writing. The title of the piece came up on its own: "The Song of Darkness." And I am writing just a little at a time; loose sentences that appear to have no reason for being other than that of ink on a paper. But it is taking shape and I need all the fuel I can get... that's why I am re-reading Rilke.

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At 7:29 AM, Blogger Susan Abraham said...

Hope you're feeling much better.
Just go with the flow of your writing spirit. :-)
btw, I always try to finish any book even it's a little disappointing finally.
It's just me. The accomplishment of having completed a task which is separate from the book itself.

At 2:24 PM, Blogger Orange Blossom Goddess (aka Heather) said...

Last year was the first time in a long time that I allowed myself to set aside books which didn't entrance me. I figure life is just too short.


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