Perhaps I avoid classics because as a student I was compelled—nay, commanded—to read things like Ulysses and Moll Flanders and The Canterbury Tales in middle English; The truth is I am a true escapist at heart and do not immediately gravitate towards really hard subjects.
Hmm. The problem with being an escapist is that the escape is always temporary, and the thrill momentary. When the chapter or book (or movie) is over, I am forced to open my eyes to my own life again. I should clarify that my life isn’t by any means bad. It’s just that sometimes I feel like it’s a little…colorless. My real life doesn’t follow the rules of narrative. There is not always tension to make things interesting. And when there is tension, it isn’t interesting; it’s just tense and crappy. Every once in a very infrequent while, my life presents me with something so beautiful and romantic it takes my breath away. Usually, it doesn’t.
These days especially, I find myself wishing my life would follow the same kind of trajectory that good narrative does. (Having just taken a fiction composition class, I am very much aware of story and how it works.) I wish I could say that something really interesting is definitely in store—a promise that all compelling literature makes. I think it would be cool, for example, if my life had a soundtrack that other people could hear. But mostly, I just wish I knew where all of this waiting and wishing and mindless toiling was headed. I wish I could take a step back from my life and read it like a book, knowing all along that all the loose ends will be tied up in the most satisfactory way possible. Or at least in the most interesting way possible.