I haven’t read fiction in ages so this weekend I picked up an old Penguin edition of ‘As I Lay Dying’ by William Faulkner and gave it a whirl.
Shame to say, I can feel myself starting to become like my dad in his opinion of fiction and novels. ‘I’ve no time for fiction’ he might say and that’s what I feel after reading this, ‘I’ve no time for William Faulkner’. I don’t care in a way about Jewel or Cash, about Darl and their stories. Maybe that is OK….except that I can also see me having the same attitude with real people, I’ve my friends and acquaintances, my family and room for some more stories from strangers but have I room for the story of a family determined to bury their dead mother in Jefferson Mississippi?
I’m not sure I do anymore. Maybe because of the digital revolution and all the onslaught of stories.Back in 200o there was no Youtube, no social networking sights, I didn’t have a mobile. Stories didn’t feel as tiring. You didn’t have status updates and links to interesting articles. Now though stories are everywhere, and they are quick and bit sized (like Twitter) so sitting down for a few days and labouring through a novel seems like an test of endurance, something you need stamina to do. It’s a struggle to finish even a short novel.
And maybe that is why I should stick with novels and build up my story stamina, to train my brain that stories aren’t all Twitter sized.