Updated: Apr 21, 2021
I don’t trust people who dismiss the importance of reading. And no, I don’t think that is an ignorant thing to say.
Is there a set canon I think you should read? Yes, I believe there is. If you want to know why we are the way we are, read mythology. If you want to know how to truly value nature read Japanese and Chinese classical literature. Suppose you want to know why men value freedom, reading the founding documents of the United States. If you want to know the real struggles of the human soul, read Russian literature. If you want to know how we are supposed to act, then read the Bible. Want to know how to think like an idiot, read Karl Marx.
I don’t trust people who don’t read literature because literature has more to offer us than anything else in the world, and it’s free. Just go to the library. You don’t need to pay crazy amounts of money for that knowledge.
When you are overthinking, you write. And when you are underthinking, you read.
That is what I was once told. I find that reading when I am overthinking to be just as cathartic as reading when I’m underthinking.
I love nothing more than being on a plane because no one can disrupt me when I’m reading.
My favorite book? Without a doubt, Isaac Babel’s Red Cavalry.
But the Pole shot my dear Pan because he’s the counter-revolution. You shoot because you’re the revolution. But the revolution is happiness. And happiness doesn’t like orphans in the house. Good deeds are done by good men. The revolution is the good deed of good men. But good men do not kill. So the revolution is the work of bad men. But the Poles, too, are bad men. So who will tell Gedali where’s the revolution and where’s the counter-revolution.
Did you know I was an orphan? I don’t hide it. There is no point in hiding it. My Uncle took me in after the deaths of my parents. I owe him all I have.
I don’t recommend everyone that book. It takes a specific type of person. I don’t mean that in a demeaning way. I mean that in a good way. It takes a certain kind of person to stomach the reality of what is written in the novel. Babel writes them in such a beautiful way, but when you tear down the façade, it is one of the ugliest books out there. Take that as you will, being that it is my favorite novel of them all, but I like to think it helps to realize my parent’s death wasn’t the first and sadly wouldn’t be the last. It makes me feel less alone. I know that is selfish.
I think if you are to read one book and one book only, you should read the Great Gatsby. I recommend it. If you want to know the lengths someone is willing to go for the idea of being with someone, you should read that novel.
I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known.
Nick says that as he’s narrating and dead God, he is wrong. He is so very wrong that it’s not even funny. He’s not an honest person. No one in that book is. They all have something mentally wrong with them, but we ignore that because it takes on a wild adventure through the roaring ’20s where we could drink ourselves to hell and drown ourselves in glitter.
Yes, let me ignore that Gatsby is a pathological liar who can’t help himself and that Daisy is the textbook definition of a narcissist, and let’s not even get started on Nick. We can talk about him all day long. What issues doesn’t he have? He’s worse than Daisy and Gatsby combine. But we ignore all of them! Why? We are crazy for doing that! We think Gatsby is okay. The rich mystery man we all dream of and Nick as our little brother who would never wrong us. We are just as mentally ill as they are, except we can’t blame it on fiction. We can’t blame Fitzgerald for our making. The characters can. But we have to take responsibility for our ill minds.
But I think there is some truth when he says that he’s one of the few honest people that he’s known. Don’t we all believe that? I mean, I think of myself as a genuine person. Don’t you think you are a genuine person? And if you do, what stops someone from thinking you are dishonest? Everything is perspective.
When you think about it all, it can make you feel quite uncomfortable. I know it does with me. I think that is what literature is meant to do.
I seem to be rambling here. I don’t want to keep you for too long. Literature isn’t the most exciting topic to talk about for most people.
Before I go, I guess I should probably give a small explanation to my first sentence. Now that I look back at it, I find it to be kind of brash.
I don’t trust people who don’t read because I don’t trust people who refuse to strive to gain more knowledge and to make themselves uncomfortable. Reading is meant to push you.
I don’t trust people who refuse to push themselves. Take that as you will.
Parting is such sweet sorrow, but until we meet again.