Friday, August 5, 2011

Persevering through the pages

When I was in college, I enrolled in the philosophy course "Existentialism and Literature" in order to fulfill my philosophy requirement. One of the books required for the class was Cormac McCarthy's Blood Meridian. Now, for reasons I won't get into in this blog post, I didn't complete that course that semester. I did complete the course later, but with a different instructor and different books.

So, I had struggled through a third of the book before I just walked away from it. Yet I came back to it, before I  finished college, in an attempt to read it for pleasure. My second attempt was no more successful than the first. The book made its way to a box with a number of other novels yet to be read (Anna Karenina, War and Peace, and the beginning of Stephen King's The Dark Tower series, just to name a few).  Fast forward a few years to my time in Brattleboro, and on my third attempt, I made it nearly halfway through the novel.

When I moved back to Maine, though, I took one look at the cover and made peace with me NOT finishing the novel and tossed it in the pile of books to be passed along. But stayed at the back of my mind and one day...well, I guess I just looked at it as my Everest. I had to conquer it because it was there.  And again, I am about halfway through the book. There are definitely moments of pure artistic genius, but it is certainly a book that requires one's undivided attention and perhaps my inability to not finish it has stemmed from laziness more than anything else. Either way, I am determined to see it through but I wonder if I am being too stubborn. Is it possible I'll regret spending so much time on this book when I finish it? There's only one way to find out!


Kaitlyn, Jessica, Jason and Hannah said...
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Kiera said...

I have so many books that fall into this category for me. In fact they fill my bookshelves. Many are "classics" or books that I read hastily just to fulfill a course requirement and think deserve more time. When that time presents itself, I always reach for Christopher Moore or Alexander McCall Smith before the classics. My current Everest = Walden. The long rambling sentences just do me in...GOOD LUCK!

Strout said...

Thanks! And I have thought about checking out Walden, but maybe later. After I've recovered from my current reading, which I hope to do by digging out my copy of All Creatures Great and Small, as I haven't read that and what better time to do that than in the summer?