Thursday, May 28, 2009

True Crime VS. True Art

The thing with me is that I always have to read something really mindless after reading something great. I have to let the good book digest. Simmer. I would say gestate, but that word leaves me thinking of that scene in Alien. Ya, know the one with the creature that comes bursting out of John Hurts stomach. I have yet to have a book have that effect on me.
No, I need to read something pulpy. A romance, or a crime novel. The mental bubblegum of summer fare. Not that I limit this to the summer. Yes, for every War and Peace, there is a Lord Of Scoundrels. I don’t even have to finish the lesser book. I usually can only manage to read these books until the hero finally has sex or the murderer has made know the why and how they do the nasty things they do. I could careless as to how he will get caught. He always does. I don’t need to know how the feisty heroine and brave, buff hero find their happy ending. They will. I just need the book in my hand and the smell of newsprint wafting under my nose. Living without a new book within easy reach is not an option But, I feel guilty. I feel embarrassed. The better part of me feels ashamed. Time is passing and there are so many books. I should be improving my mind. I should be immersing myself in the works of the great writers. I should be reading books like Ethan Frome. Ugh, Ethan Frome. Only New Englanders would try to kill themselves sledding! And yet the simple beauty of that book. The aching characters, the pain of a love that cannot be and then of course that punishing ending. You read that book and you know you’ve been through something. God please hand me the latest Dan Brown. I need a temporary lobotomy.
I know I sound like a snob. Let me clear. I don’t understand everything I read. But I try. Let me be honest too. Sometimes the stars align just right and you find that fluffy light book that is just a joy to read. A perfect mix of the mindless respite and good fun that doesn’t make me want to throw it against the wall ten chapters in.
Still, all those great books are just sitting on shelves waiting for me to read them. And time is passing. How many can I get to before my time on this mortal coil is over?
I have one hope. That heaven has bookshelves. I have talked about this with Ana many times. The patient girl. She as of late still remains unconvinced.
I believe that everyone gets his or her own heaven. In mine there are shelves of books. In fact every book that has ever been written or will ever be written. And there will be museums with halls of paintings that shift and change with every visit. The works of the old masters and of those yet to be will appear on the walls just as I am in the right frame of mind to appreciate them. Oh, and there of course will be a bitchin gift shops!
Sometimes I wish I could be the intellectual I would like to be. It’s just that sometimes stupid is just so much more fun.


Gorilla Bananas said...

I bet modern crime fiction would have seemed like high art to the ancient Greeks. The Iliad is really a silly, melodramatic story when you analyse it. Imagine starting a war because your wife leaves you!

Scarlet-Blue said...

It’s just that sometimes stupid is just so much more fun..
Tell me about it...

mapstew said...

Will there be blogs in heaven?

kate said...

the whole point of heaven is that if you want books you can have them. if you want to line your shelves with fluff that's OK too. ethan frome for eternity? doubt it. we should have a pulp book swap some day, i'm in desperate need, the last book i read was terrible.

The Topiary Cow said...

Cow graciously thanks Ms. Wenham for clueing her in about Ethan Frome.

Having not read the gentleman, she will now studiously avoid anything to do with death by sledding in New England!

(Cow very impressed by Gorilla's grasp of the Classics, btw!)


SquirrelQueen said...

Let's see now, the Gorilla and the Cow have chimed in so the Squirrel might as well join the mix.

I have read Ethan Frome but only because it was required for a class. I love the classics, science, and such but for a good day to day read give me Dean Koontz or Stephen King.

And being that this squirrel is a blonde, I can say from experience that stupid is fun ever so often.

garfer said...

Nowt wrong with thicko lit. I like a good crime thriller me, with decpaitated heads found in old canals next to bicycles and some obvious suspects.

Not in the canal at the same time, obviously. The suspects that is.

laughingwolf said...

does that guy on the last book cover look like johnny cash, or what? :O lol

Beverly Hamilton Wenham said...

Dearest GB:
I too thought that! Really your a big deal guy in an ancient world. You mean you can't get a slave girl or another hottie instead of leading your people to ruin! Selfish or what?

Scarlet: So true! Sometimes even with men. So much less talking. Shut up and do me big guy!

Map Darling: Yes, but there I will not need spell check. And of course there will be you and I. I'll buy the first beer!

Kate: Thank You for getting me. You always do!

Toppy: I know unknown depths of GB! But not really surprised.

Sq. Queen of all things nutty: I too would rather a day with a early Stephen King! Although the horror of a sledding death makes me shiver!

Garfer; Yes, and maybe some Iron-Bru bottles about the place too, just near said head!

Wofie: You are so right. I didn't see it until you mentioned it! Sharp as ever.

Ana said...

Yes, to fluff or not? I say not.. but one man's fluff is another man's Moby Dick. It's all good.

laughingwolf said...

you know to stay alive, wuffs MUST pay attention ;) lol

Kimberley said...

Reading both pulp and pomp doesn't make you less intellectual, it makes you well rounded ;)

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it. Besides, the pulp fiction covers ROCK!