Monday, August 12, 2013

Reading Fail.

10:21 PM Posted by Patrick No comments
I fail at pretension. Oh, yes. I know that may be hard to believe, but I definitely lost this round.

There I was, innocently sitting at Starbucks,trying to kill a couple hours and a half dozen shots of espresso before I left for work, studiously working my way through German adjective conjugation--gotta keep sharp, right?--when a flight of madness struck me. I put away my German and snatched up Foucault's Pendulum out of my bag. Eco. Good Author. Entertaining book. Such were y thoughts as I settled in to read.

Forty odd pages in, I had realized my grave mistake.

The book reads like it was written by the hand of an eccentric eighty year-old Italian academician-philologist-semiotician with an endless amount of literary knowledge and no editor.

I could keep up through the references to Borges and Nietzsche and St. Paul and other such, but exotic obscurities kept popping up, and by the time cabala came up--and I was still not sure what the story was--I resigned myself to never finishing that book. Very sad.

I simply lack the abstract knowledge and raw pretension to finish such a monolith, which the New York Times proclaimed "an intellectual triumph."

It is beneath the arches of this triumph that I meet my defeat. I cannot finish that book, nor do I even have the fuzziest desire. I may try again some day, when I myself am an 80 year-old lunatic and semiotician, but not yet. For now, I am chastened. The deep end is fine, but best to keep out of certain territories

I can be a little bit of a poser at times--I believe that Jonathan was making "tool" comments the other day...only in the most loving, playful, and outrageous manner--but there is a certain degree to which I think everyone indulges in poserdom. We adapt ourselves to the cultural norms and seek after what is generally acclaimed as being good. I hope, however, that I demonstrate the sufficient moral fibah to cast aside poserdom when it gets ridiculous, or outside what is practical.

Perhaps I kid myself. Perhaps it was just that this act of poserdom required too much work.

On a minor side note, this is the first novel which I have laid aside for the sake of its difficulty. I rarely give up on a book, and never because it is simply too much for me to grasp entirely, but this one did it. I am humbled, if but a very little, and I will resign myself to just watching TV in the time I would have finished that monstrosity. I will be much happier for it.


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