Monday, August 15, 2005

50 Book Challenge # Negative Five

Reading "I Am Charlotte Simmons" (it was being sold at this stoop sale, eh) has taken more points off my IQ than any television I have ever watched, and that includes the Dark Ages of 10th grade, when I'd come home post-school or post-track and do some serious vegging. I find myself saying "like" far too much and ending sentences as if they were questions more than I normally would. Honestly, sitting through the entire Lifetime movie, "Fifteen and Pregnant," would have been more intellectually stimulating, and that's a movie in which the fifteen-year-old says her stomach's upset and you're supposed to wonder why on earth that might be. This, I'm afraid, is part of why I'm not doing the 50 Book Challenge. It's not that I don't read books. It's just that I don't think a book is by definition more worthy or more challenging than any other form of art or entertainment.

5 comments:

john_m_burt said...

I've been reading mostly graphic novels lately, myself.

For one thing, my fondness for the medium has led me to read in genres that I probably wouldn't have otherwise.

And some of those artists are good enough to make it worth your while to read the story just for the pictures.

Anonymous said...

I like television as much as the next guy/gay and I watched countless hours during my youth. Still, there is nothing like reading a book, a good book, to spark the imagination (challenge the intellect, provide an escape from reality, discover new ideas, etc.)-- not tv, film, or music. My generational and educational bias. The last time I was in the library, I saw (and avoided) multiple copies of "I Am Charlotte Simmons" on the "new fiction" shelf. I won't read this book, in part because George W. Bush read it (slowly, no doubt)and in part because of the terrible reviews. Wolfe won an "award" for worst sex scene in fiction; and I heard an excerpt (yuck). "The Right Stuff" was good, and that will remain my exposure to the work of Tom Wolfe. -- JM

Anonymous said...

By the way, how far did you get in slogging through Bloom's "Love and Friendship"?

Nathan said...

I agree with how inspirational fiction can be. There's nothing like a great novel to get me writing. Maybe I would be inspired by great art in other media if I were at all proficient in them, but since I'm pretty much a writer, I find it's great novels or poetry that inspires me. I just read One Hundred Years of Solitude for the first time and then Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy and they were both amazing. If I could find 50 books like that, I'd do the challenge.

Matticus said...

Attempting to read I am Charlotte Simmons ruined my day. Wolfe's Nietzche on crack worldview just left the bad taste in my mouth. I can deal with "like" up the wazoo and teenage incoherence, but Wolfe's almost complete lack of sympathy, empathy, or even curiosity drove me screeching mad. And, yes, the prose is bad enough that I think it counts as anti-inspiration. I had to hide the book before trying to write even a blog entry.
why not read five books more closely instead of zipping like mad through fifty? The priorities of such a challenge seem misplaced, even if you ignore the lousy book versus the good movie argument...