I consider myself a self-motivated person. But apparently I’ve found my limits when it comes to Modern American Literature. Or maybe it’s just Classic Literature in general. I honestly haven’t read enough Classic Literature outside of an academic setting to know if I enjoy it or not.
This summer I made an attempt to remedy that. I picked up The Beautiful and Damned and For Whom the Bell Tolls in effort to better acquaint myself with these bastions of American Literature. I didn’t even crack the cover of FWtBT (unfortunately). And I made several attempts to march through TBaD.
I mentioned in my review of Rules of Civility that RoC was everything I wanted The Beautiful and Damned to be: New York looking glamorous and some devil-may-care main characters that undergo some essential maturity and growth.
What I got was something like a romp through a pair of toddler’s having a screaming match. Nothing about the main characters of The Beautiful and Damned redeemed them or made them likable. Quite the contrary, they were spoiled and awful and intent on ruining life for each other (though they thought they were very much trying to make each other happy). It was utterly frustrating.
Another sort of humorous issue I kept having was confusing the plotlines of The Beautiful and Damned with the plotline of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button which I know doesn’t make any sense. But reading two things by Fitzgerald back to back was the problem.
I was excited about reading this book because it was mentioned in One Day. And she was right, it’s a long read. The novel takes you through some of the less interesting day-to-day activities of the main characters. And spends quite a bit of time with them.
One thing I DO like about Fitzgerald’s storytelling style is that you feel like you’re listening to a friend recount a story about some acquaintances. He brings you into his world and reveals all the seedy things a tight knit group of friends would know about each other. (Towles echoed this in parts of Rules of Civility).
I also feel that I should admit that book covers do have a lot of impact on me. I really dislike this cover. It’s all weird angles and so much red. It’s funny because it’s very fitting for the time period with the modern art/jazz age flavor. But I found like four other covers that I thought were so great. I’m of the opinion that had I had I different cover I might have enjoyed the book a bit more.
One of the words I learned from my reading of The Elegance of the Hedgehog was autodidact.
I plan on furthering my career as an autodidact in the realm of Literature. Which I’m sure means that I will again encounter the fictional works of Mr. F. Scott Fitzgerald. But for now I’m glad of the break. And I feel a little bit better prepared to discuss this facet of Literature should the occasion arise.
At this point I would like to share with you that as of Wednesday night at 9 pm my NaNoWriMo word count is 4,495. That’s 95 extra words over my goal point. I’m really happy with this rate of writing that I’ve managed so far. At this point I’m writing for about 2 hours every day. I’m hoping to have a day next week that I can write for awhile uninterrupted.
Happy Thursday, ya’ll.