I’m reading as I write. At least a few pages every day. Incredible books that inspire or discourage, but ultimately fill me with the desire to be one of them. A person who is able to write a book. I’ve never been a fan of music the way I’m a fan of literature. Maybe, because I’ve always been able to do it, it feels less impressive to me. I like music. I can see through to it’s seams, though. Most people make music that means nothing, and the world can’t tell the difference. Maybe I’ve become too disillusioned where music is concerned.
Books are still magical.
I’ve read everything that’s been translated of Per Petterson’s books. In The Wake, and To Siberia, Stealing Horses, and Curse the River of Time. I love his writing so much, especially the Anne Born translations. The same people populate his books even when they have different names. He is constantly investigating the lives of the people closest to him. Their histories, his conflicted feelings about them. I love his observations, his winter landscapes, his sadness. I love the way he writes in the first person. You feel as if you know him, and that every word is painfully true.
Today I finished The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. I think it’s one of the most beautiful books I have ever read. Utterly masterful, with heartbreaking characters, and a mystery that unfolds in such a satisfying way. I was in tears at the end. I may need to attend her reading at the 92nd Street Y this month. I want to hear her talk about how she does it. Although, I know there’s no way she could explain it that would help me to do it as well.
I’m more a reader than a writer. Or maybe all writers are readers who have been slayed by incredible books. My story limps along. Will I ever get to the end? Will I ever think it worthy of being read by anyone? I wake up thinking about what a character would say instead of what i’ve had him say first. I’m a relentless re-writer as I go, trying to rid my story of every overly precious adjective. Writing is hard. But the challenge of it is exciting and when I’m able to assemble a few paragraphs that feel as if they might have happened, I feel very satisfied. So I will go on writing and reading.
Next up is Great House, the new one by Nicole Krauss. I’ll reward myself with a few pages of it tonight, before I go to sleep.
p.s. I don’t know why I need to turn my back on something in order to embrace something else. Stupid and not true about music. I love it dearly. I’ve often said it has saved my life.