Archive for April, 2008

Decided to come blog again

I freely admit I didn’t write this it has been lifted straight out of: 

Furthermore– you know how they say– “the names have been changed to protect the innocent”?– in my case– it was Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Freud …

i have a problem. i don’t know who among your contributors i can ask this question, but here it goes: i’ve suddenly come to hate books. i used to love them, but something is wrong with me in that i hate them. the last book i read was, i think, Herodotus, The Histories; before that I can’t remember. I think maybe The Book of Disquiet, by F. Pessoa. I need help. Who should I consult? Maybe it’s just a matter of engaging in real conversation or something. Help.

Readers block happens to everyone at some point, and I’m not sure anyone has a definitive answer on how to get past it. Because I am not an actual advice columnist, and am incredibly self-involved, I will answer with an anecdote.

Last year, when I packed my bags for a month long visit to a dairy farm, I was incredibly optimistic about the books I would like to accompany me. The Anatomy of MelancholyPragmatismThe White Goddess. Etc. Everything went fine for two weeks. I got an incredible amount of work done, and spent my evenings reading Very Important Books. (I also took Pessoa, now that I think about it.) After two weeks, however, I started to be sabotaged by my right brain. “Hey, let’s go outside and talk to the cows.” I tried to reason with it. “Right Brain, cows do not talk.” “No, but they listen, and they enjoy being taught about pragmatism. Also, that 20-year-old flirt Patrick is out exercising the horses without a shirt on again.” “Okay, fine.”

My guess is that maybe you’ve been neglecting the right half of your brain. It needs love, too, and reading is a seriously left brain activity. The right brain might be sabotaging you until you entertain it for a while. It loves flirting, and Bourne movies, and the Art Institute. Try baking a cheesecake, or sit on your floor with a box of crayons for a day. Then try again, but maybe something a little less intense than Herodotus. When I’m sick I always regress back to Christopher Pike books, so get back to that level. After a week or two of zombie teachers and man-eating cheerleaders (in a literal sense, not, you know) you’ll be back to Graham Greene.

April 2008

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