Have started in on Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections, another hostel find, after the ho-hum, fall asleep coma experience of Philipp Kerr's Field Grey. What a terrible book! Ok, I am going to make a major admission: I have studiously avoided Franzen (though he lives in my old stomping grounds, Santa Cruz) all of my life. Ditto David Foster Wallace. Don DeLillo - I got two chapters into one of his and lost all interest. As much as I admire the mental dexterity involved in these modern "giants" prodigiously large tomes I also consider them pretentious and boring.**I have no idea why, but capital L literature of the American variety took a major wrong turn a decade or two ago. Who will be read in a century or two, beyond the academy? None that I can think of.
That said, Franzen is definitely more accessible than DeLillo and makes a suspense thriller out of a geriatric couple's daily existence, which is admirable in a way. Just don't expect me to give up on my nutty idea that I am a more readable and authentic penner of words than our cherished literary cummerbunds.
Endurancewriter (SEO Alert) Damon Shulenberger aka Endurance Writer. Because good writing endures and it takes endurance to kickass.
*De facto full time, meaning I get taxed more and have no job security or real chance of getting a major loan. But somehow marginally solvent. Impressive to be a full-time writer in this day and age, I've been told.
**Michael Chabon is a little better––I squirmed through his first novel with some semblance of enjoyment. I like the concept of The Yiddish Policemen's Union, though I have not read it. If I come across it at a hostel, I very likely will. But basically, my point stands... a lot of presumptive literary classics these days are strained. Donna Tartt––there is an author I should revisit.