Thursday, 6 January 2011

Chapter 1 - Why I Don't Understand Literature.

First person stories have always scared me. When you are looking at a world through one person's eyes you have to take into account that you are never going to get the full picture. Even if the person believes they are being completely honest, they may have deluded themselves into a state where they can't tell the difference between the truth and the not so true. Regardless, I have decided to tell  my story in first person due to the fact that no one else could have seen what I've seen, heard what I've heard or done what I've done.

I never really enjoyed English at school. Despite my best effort when it came to deliberately copying a style of writing or analysing someone else's work, boredom would always hit me like a mace penetrating holes the size of nails into my skull for all my enthusiasm to pour out onto the paper in a bloody un-gradable mess. I could never blame the teacher, who would always try their best to interest me but I'm not the type of person who enjoys the same thing twice, including books. The only times I would ever go back over something would be if I forgot what it was about or to show other people.

My lazy approach to content, such as books and films, has given me a distorted view of what makes a good story. If a writer fails to convey what they are attempting to in the first reading, or viewing, then that piece of content, to me, has failed. This is not true for all content, such as music and poetry, and to get someone to think about and explore a piece of content after it's finished is one of the greatest achievements. What I don't understand is the religious harassment of certain texts and creating new interpretations from ambiguities in some passages. If it is the case that the greater the quality, the more interpretations you get from it then surely ambiguity is key for writing a widely respected piece of text?

The answer is no, simply because I am trying to rationalise something that is subjective and when you actually ask someone why something is their favourite it can be hard to say why. Being forced to read something and choosing to read it for yourself could potentially give you completely different views of the same material. Subjectively, this sentence is the best piece of writing you've ever read. Being someone who always needs to have a definitive answer for things it is probably wrong of me to try and quantify something which is unquantifiable.

In this short lifespan, where it would take more than one lifetime to read all the good literature in the world, we have to rely more and more on other people's opinions. Whether it be a publisher or the comments section on Amazon, it is becoming increasingly harder just to pick something up without knowing anything about it. The popular works become over-hyped and hidden gems become lost like a "bad" interpretation in the ambiguities of a novel.


  1. Wow, it's been a long time since your last post. I was beginning to worry you'd quit.

    Really intriguing first chapter, I can't wait to read the rest.

  2. siip... mantap



Related Posts with Thumbnails