I can be really snobby about Literature. Though I try to appreciate all kinds, not just “classics” (for example, I am a huge fan of Jack Gantos’ The Love Curse of Rumbaughs and Bioshock) I know I can be pretty dismissive about some stuff.
So, here is a bit of… conversion. Of me being humbled.
For class, I had to read few contemporary short stories.
(No, I am judgmental of all stories. Age does not necessarily make things better for me, though the language usage can be more interesting.)
I don’t have much to say about “Spanish in the Morning”. It’s still very “meh, okay” to me. But“The Largesse of the Sea Maiden”… well, I was very arrogant with this one. The character did not interest me much (which is important because it’s a character sketch). The whole thing, I thought, was mundane. This lonely character who is so lacking in energy talking about his “prosaic” American life (something I cannot readily relate to)… I dismissed the story pretty quickly. It waswell-written too, but it wasn’t amazing enough to capture my interest. Well, that’s alright. I am okay with me judging other people’s work as mediocre to mundane.
But what I MUST be reprimanded for is that I couldn’t bother getting deep with the story. At the end of the reading, even when I didn’t get why the title was so, etc., I simply couldn’t be bothered to find out more. That speaks of unacceptable arrogancy! That I didn’t give my full best and judging prematurely. After all, when discussing the story in class… I was able to appreciate it. This numb character with it’s own screwed up state (not to the point of fucked up!) was something worth reading. Admittedly he’s not my type (I like romantic intellectual characters except Victor Frankenstein. I hate him with passion.) but that does not excuse me.
Maybe I could excuse myself… His lacking energy was sapping energy as well. But that’s just an excuse. The point is, well…
A lesson in humility learned.
p.s. I wonder if he[narrator/main character of the story] ever went through a mid-life crisis at all, because with his energy, I’d expect he didn’t bother having one at the first place.