Monday, January 25, 2010

But I am having a run of boring books

I've started and stopped three books in the last five or six days. Bleh. Hate it when that happens, and it does seem to happen in streaks where I can't find a decent book to settle into. They were each of course much lauded, some from trusted sources, some not so much. One I gave a good 130 pages--far more than the rules require!--but ultimately cried uncle. It defeated me and I realized it when I found myself dreading opening it this morning on the train. I may or may not have more to say about this one, because it's just the latest of several books I've read or tried to read in the last year that have won great acclaim as exemplars of innovative or experimental writing. Innovation! Experimentation! Who wouldn't get excited at such words? Then comes reality. Boredom. Annoyance. Digging and searching for any kernel of lived meaning, of emotional truth, of resonant story, of political relevance--this last especially since inevitably these books are touted as somehow falling on our, the left, side of the class divide and so I'm particularly disappointed when I find it just ain't so, that the commentators seem to mistake ostensibly radical form for actually revolutionary substance.