After the grandiose work of Guimaraes I looked for a light reading. I was half through the summer and I needed something not pretentious and not much demanding.
I had picked, from a public library box in eastern France, Nine Stories by J.D. Salinger. It didn’t deceive me. It was a good way to acknowledge that he is not a one-hit-wonder writer. Of course I had loved The Catcher in the Rye, one of the cornerstones of adult-but-teenage novel.
Afer Salinger, I felt ready for a new “whole” experience, and started reading Stoner, by John Williams. The backcover said “a perfect novel and one of the saddest”. Until I stopped, it fulfilled the words of the reviewer. But then, half book through, I got mad. Mad about Stoner’s life. SO unfair. So crude. I was mad about the story but I was also mad about fiction. I think I have always read for knowledge, yes; but also for fun. I did not engage into reading fiction to suffer.
But then something strange happened. I started reading the much hyped Ishiguro’s Never let me go (I had adored The Remains of the Day). And after 20 pages I still did not understand the story. Some obscure memories about a strange school. I felt I was in a Shyamalan film. And I stopped. And I stopped fiction.
I grabbed The rest is noise, a gift I received seven years ago that took me almost the same time to finish, but I finished it, and I enjoyed it. It is not fiction. It is the history of classical-turned-contemporary music in the XX century. And now I will continue not reading fiction. I guess it is a big pause, or isn’t it?