I finished my first book off of my reading list project, Giovanni’s Room. On one hand, I feel good. I got the first novel out-of-the-way and I’m building up steam for the second. On the other hand, I am so relieved it was such a short read.
While in the midst of reading, I realized why I prefer the non-fiction over the fiction. I don’t give a rat’s ass about symbolism. I don’t care what the room or the cleaning agent covering the only window represents. Am I the only person to read this novel and think, “What the hell is an unemployed thirty-year-old man doing in Paris and writing to his father demanding money?” This same man is also borrowing money from ‘friends.’ Again, I don’t care what this symbolizes. He’s an irresponsible child going around the city drinking, smoking and ruining the lives of others all in an attempt to figure out what he wants. Oy vey! The character just frustrates me.
The non-fiction books I usually read don’t have this stuff, they are clear-cut. If I want to confuse my mind, I dip into philosophy, poetry or psychology; mostly in a historical context. When those make my brain too mushy, I run back to plain history.
Given my reaction to this first reading, I’m a bit concerned. However, if I am anything, I am persistent. I do not give up that easily. I will be more determined with my second book to actually pay attention to what I’m reading so my mind doesn’t wander. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to point out the symbolism.