1. You need to write a million words before you can call yourself a writer, or so it is said.

That’s one of the things I’ll do here, keeping track of my total.

2. The other thing I’d like to do is start a conversation, about books I have read, about what makes them worth reading.

Too often, I have finished a book and gone online to talk about it, only to find three things:

the high-flown literary critic, with phrases like “reminiscent of Flaubert at his most playful” scattered throughout – interesting to read but intimidating to reply to – ;

the book review – nice to see another opinion, but I’ve already bought it!;

the “like” – “I love Marquez!!” “Me too.” “101 Years of Solitude is great.” “I agree.” – it establishes a connection, but it’s not exactly a discussion.

It’s hard to talk about books without sounding either like an idiot or a wanker. I hope by sounding like both, I’ll make others feel less shy.




8 responses to “About

  1. Yes, blogging keeps me writing or at least thinking about writing. So far I have written some great sentences (in my mind) and quite a bit of garbage.

    I used to belong to a great books reading group which I enjoyed, but has disbanded. I haven’t found good online discussions; maybe I don’t know where to look. A good conversation is hard to find.

    • I’m almost certain you’re being harsh on yourself. Have you ever noticed clunky ugly sentences in best-selling books? I used to be disgusted by them – sentences that I would have scratched out, being printed and read by thousands – but now I try to admire those authors’ ability to keep going without discouragement.

      When I talked about setting up this blog to talk about individual lines, characters and ideas from books, rather than overall opinions, someone replied, “Oh. like a book club online.” I suppose that’s what this could be, and you’ve brought it a step closer to that with your contribution. Thanks!

  2. I love Marquez. Why? Because 100 Years of Solitude is one of those books that make you laugh, cry, and extremely angry, all the while sort of recounting history but only fictionally.

    Cool blog you got here!

    • Thanks for obliging me. It’s been years since I read 100 Years of Solitude, and what has remained with me is the strangeness: a character who ate dirt and the magic of seeing ice for the first time in a travelling show that visited the village.Which parts made you angry?

      • Yes the strangeness is true. There was also the beautiful Remedios with green hair. I remember her perfectly kept corpse that disintegrated with the wind. The carnivorous ants. I don’t remember the story perfectly now, and I sometimes mix up the characters with those from Isabel Allende’s. Outrageous. I read works from both authors around the same time. 100 years was complicated and character rich. I recall the protagonist taking an indigenous woman by force, and how another generation pays for the sins of the previous one. I remember feeling that there was unfairness to some of the characters, certain ones dying needlessly and others always having fate on their side and nothing they did could hurt them. That’s where the anger stemmed from. Though perhaps that’s life – it isn’t fair and sometimes you just have to make do with the cards you are dealt. I wonder how I would feel re-reading it now

  3. It looks like I’m going to have to re-read that book. 🙂 I meant 100 Years of Solitude as an example of a book that is almost universally loved by bookish types, yet still isn’t discussed much. It’s embarrassing to discover that I haven’t all that much to say about it either. Still, it does have something to it – that quality Bradbury referred to as “Life in all of its profusion” in a bit of Fahrenheit 451 I particularly enjoyed and posted about.

    • Like. And true. At least there are CliffsNotes for 100 Years! Haven’t read Fahrenheit 451 so can’t really comment…but The Handmaid’s Tale would be another dystopian novel I recommend. Also Oryx and Crake, if you’re into Margaret Atwood and the adrenaline rush via reading.
      I’ve nominated you for the One Lovely Blog Award, found at http://pixiedustbeach.wordpress.com/
      Thank you for your writing, Inconspicuous Creation.

      • There’s a bit in Farenheit 451 where one character is explaining the value of books in terms of “truth”, and offers a basic measure of literary worth as “truth per square inch”. I quoted that bit here:


        and it has since become a very important factor in my reading.

        I have a lot of time for Margaret Atwood, too.I’ve read The Handsmaid’s Tale and Oryx and Crake, as well as After The Flood. I’m looking forward to MadAdam too – that set is a very convincing vision of the near future.

        Thank you very much for your nomination!

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