Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Okay, you got me. I like plot.

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how I read, which means I am a 'uge nerd. More particularly, I have been thinking about how I read vs. how I watch TV or movies. When I watch TV, I am willing to subject myself to the lowest, most banal, most repugnant things, and what's more, I enjoy it. I am not ashamed to admit I like the Bad Girls Club, for example, and all they do is shout nonsense at each other in a repetitive way. I can pretend to think intellectual things about it, but really it just fascinate me because of what it is. And then afterwards I feel sort of gross and overexposed. So why am I such a snob about reading, or more accurately, closeted about occasionally reading things that are not also, like, art?

Confession part two: I really like plot.

I read both "Fugue State" by Brian Evenson and "The Dolphin People" by Torsten Krol over the weekend. I liked both of them immensely. "Fugue State" seems like literary horror, which is one of my favorite things, and reading "The Dolphin People" was very much like watching an adventure movie in my brain. I hope I am not discouraging you from reading "Fugue State," Kathy. The words in it are really very good, too. It's not a plot-only book.

The moral of this post is that I'm going to watch less TV and read more like I watch TV. More widely and less ashamedly. I am going to reject things that don't interest me partway through, like flipping the channel, and sometimes I'll read things that verge on chick lit. As long as they're funny. And well-written enough. I'll still read poetry. I'll still read lots of stuff from small presses. It's unlikely that I'll start reading celebrity autobiographies to substitute for the E! network, but I'm probably going to read some other terrible things. And tell you all about them. So there.

10 comments:

Megan said...

I love to read a good plot but I ABHOR writing one, mostly because I'm bad at it. And most things I read that resemble what I write, I hate - for example, I hate 98% of poems I read. But what I really hate, most of all, are fully-developed characters. And developing characters. My priorities are clearly out of whack. Basically I am a writer who hates books. It wasn't always this way, though...what happened?

Special Agent Dale Cooper said...

that's just it! i'm trying to read like i read when i was little and looooved to read. i just wrote a 14-page story. i feel weird about it because it is totally normal.

Megan said...

stop feeling bad. pronto.

Special Agent Dale Cooper said...

okay.

Kathryn said...

i agree, i just read the entire harry potter series. i like plot.

i would never read it in public though.

Kathryn said...

omg, speaking of reading books that are like the E! channel, we should read sarah palin's book!

we shouldn't buy it though. it will have to be shoplifted.

Special Agent Dale Cooper said...

i don't think i could handle the sarah palin book. also, i feel exactly the same way about shoplifting that i do about dining-and-dashing: wussy.

Megan said...

we can burn shoplifted copies of it, how about that? my students who work at the bookstore do underground stealing - maybe i could assign them to steal for extra credit. this could change the world. also missy has a great self helpy idea; she's searching for it; plus it's about how to motivate yourself when you're demotivated, which for me is always lately. i think it will help. also we need to resurrect author letters. also we should at some point read paris hilton's autobiography.

Kathryn said...

megan, i JUST wrote an email advertisement for THE CREDIBILITY BUSINESS about paris hilton's autobiography and todd vetoed it. the other person i mentioned was sarah palin. he said neither of them have credibility. can you believe that?

i want to read the unmotivated book. also, we should watch the secret. i went to this "spiritual center" this morning and everyone was making jokes about the secret that i didn't get. it's a weird place. i think i will probably devote my life to it.

Special Agent Dale Cooper said...

the secret is believing in yourself.
and yes, author letters are like item b on my list of things to do.