The only instance where I cannot seem to suffer fools gladly is when it comes to writing. My house is strewn with books I cannot bear to finish. Mediocre, maudlin and melodramatic writing irritates me beyond belief.
Which is one of the two reasons why I just cannot begin to start working on something beyond a blog. It would be devastating if what I wrote was too unpalatable for even me.
I read The Fountainhead when I was still in school. It was one of those books which everybody who had read would swear by. A few years later, I read Atlas Shrugged and I too, put it down as one of those books I would use time and again to draw inspiration from.
Over time, subsequent re-readings were less than satisfactory. I understood that I did not really appreciate someone shoving a slightly deluded philosophy down my throat. I could not comprehend why a spirited woman would still look for validation from the opposite sex, and it seemed to me, the author worshipped the male ideal a little too closely for a woman to identify with her theme.
Recently, I liked Donna Tartt's The Secret History. A wonderful gothic novel, highly intelligent, with very tightly woven prose. With that unforgiving style of narration, however, you cannot really continue without growing repeptitive. Consequently, her second novel - The Little Friend - lies unfinished by my bed.
What really makes me love a book, is when the story it narrates is so deeply touching, that I forget everything about it except the story itself. The mastery of the craft of writing is obviously still there, but the power of the tale itself is what sweeps you along. I cannot read Love Story without sharing Oliver's sense of loss and hurt. The book carries with it that haunting tune as well.
Which brings me to the second reason why I have restricted my attempts at writing to this blog. The story I want to tell, has not come to me yet. Sometimes, I can almost glimpse the persons I will write about. But beyond a mere beckoning, they just refuse to spring to life. Although, on evenings such as this, they seem just that little bit closer than usual.