On the past two weeks, I’ve been on a literary tear, putting down “Ender’s Game” and “Fight Club” in a matter of days each. I am, I think, in search of writing styles to influence my own recent foray into creating fiction.
Most of the time I spent reading previous to the past two weeks was dedicated to non-fiction, and had been for a handful of years. Previous to that, I had made a conscious decision to read next to nothing. Well, maybe not conscious – I was basically working and going to school for the visual arts, so I didn’t have much time for any diversions than video games, DVDs of Scrubs, and the three day reading of Kitchen Confidential. Non fiction is pretty fascinating, learning how the world works or about programming is sometimes dry, but it is, at the very least, educational.
In the ten to fifteen minutes after putting down a work of fiction, I often find myself recounting and analyzing real-world events in the work’s narrative voice . I don’t know why this happens, and I wonder if it has to do with the qualities of the written word versus other, more established mass media art forms. Neither movies nor music really present this phenomenon onto me, maybe because they are capable of demonstrating events in ways other than telling.
That’s what makes me wary about reading unknown authors. Sometimes their work is disturbing, or I find their particular worldview distasteful or uncomfortable. And my dedication to finishing what I started means I will be sharing that particular view of the world with my own thoughts until the book is completed. Now I think, maybe I should keep myself from reading American Psycho next, lest I decide to forgo web development, start commuting to the financial district and beginning questioning my own perception of reality.
So, I will continue to dip my toe back into the universe of literary fiction until I either get more comfortable, or decide that watching re-runs of Turk, JD and Dr. Cox is a more appropriate use of my free time.