Sunday, November 22, 2015

Literature vs Fiction (Plus The Thrill of New)

Been on an insane roller coaster vis a vis the books I have been reading lately.

"Narcisa", an insane book about a guy obsessed with a crazy brained crack whore. A wild female with amazing insights and wacky delusions about human beings and life. A woman who turns this guys life upside down.

"Me and The Devil", a book about a successful but bored writer who hooks up with a wide open woman who broadens his horizons, leading him to discover truths about himself that are indeed bizarre. Very dark.

I stumbled upon a book titled "Thirteen Ways of Looking" by Colum McCann. It's a collection of short stories.

Actually it's only four stories. Is that a collection?

I read a review on the book which piqued my interest. The book did not disappoint me. I just finished it this morning.

The author is new to me and I love his style. He writes literature.

This is where the debate comes in. A debate that drives Stephen King crazy. He is eternally pissed off that his writing is not considered literature.

For lack of a better definition, literature is a high brow version of fiction. Literature commands more respect from the literary community. Doesn't mean it is better, though.

Literature will leave you hanging. The first story in this book is about an 82 year old guy, a retired judge, who goes out to lunch on a snowy New York city day with his son. His son leaves the restaurant early. When the father leaves a guy walks up to him and punches him in the face. The judge falls to the ground, cracks open his skull and dies.

The story winds its way through suspects and motives, leads you to the guy who appears to be the killer, and dumps you in the courtroom, where the story ends.

You never find out if he is really the killer, you never find out what the jury decides.

That is literature in a nutshell. It is exceptionally well written and captivating but resolution is not a requirement.

Immediately upon finishing the book I picked up "Jesus Out to Sea", a collection of short stories by James Lee Burke.

Burke writes a series set in New Iberia, Louisiana featuring Dave Robicheaux, an ex New Orleans cop now working as a sheriff's deputy.

I love the series, love the location, love the characters.

These stories have nothing to do with that. However, I read the first story this morning and it was excellent.

My whistle has been whetted and I look forward to devouring the rest.

Thrill of The New: I gave Carol, as a pre-birthday birthday present, Adele's new CD - 25. We listened to part of it on the way into Concord Friday night. It is excellent.

I was thinking how great it is to hear new music. Songs that are brand new, lyrics you cannot anticipate, music that surprises you.

What a delicious indulgence.

My mind wandered to new authors. Someone you have never read before. A person who will put words together in a new way and introduce new stories into your life.

Little things. Meaningful things.

Experiences that shine a light into your soul.

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