Saturday, April 08, 2006
I've taken enough bullshit e-mail chain-letter surveys in my day. I know for a fact that I've been faced with the question of my greatest fear at least twenty times. My answers are always similar: death, bees in the bedsheets, gaining back my weight, et cetera. However, I picked up a book last night and realized that I have a fear even greater than those pittances.
What if being a college-level English major has ruined reading for the rest of my life?
I've spent the last three years taking great works of literature and ripping them apart, trying to find meaning in the most minute or banal details. It's painfully evident that most authors don't mean to infuse some sort of vague symbolism in their basic word choice; but when I don't find this deeper meaning, I am taught to create meaning.
I know there is an educational standard that an English major must meet, but is it too much to ask that, every once in a while, one could look at a text and be enveloped by the story? Instead of finding subliminal meaning, is it acceptable to simply find escape? To find beauty?
Hopefully, when real life comes back to me and I can read on my own terms, I will revert to my old habits. There's nothing wrong with, in lieu of "solving the novel," merely being swept away by the mood of Wuthering Heights. And there's nothing wrong with reading trash like John Grisham either.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, "Here is a picture of boobies because you made it through this post."