The Luzhin Defense by Vladimir Nabokov

Another terrific read by Nabokov, I have yet to be disappointed by his novels. This one follows a chess player, but you don’t have to know a single thing about how to play chess in order to enjoy it. It’s more about the mental states, and how imagining all the possible outcomes in a game can send your brain down an unending maze of possibilities.

Aside from Nabokov’s usual wonderful prose and lovable characters, I found the slow, creeping insanity that Luzhin endures to be very believable and a bit unsettling. And even though I saw the end coming, that didn’t lessen the impact and effectiveness of it.

Another great read, and anyone who hasn’t read Nabokov please pick up one of his books, you won’t regret it!

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do i hate french authors?

I usually finish a book if I make it past the first chapter or so, but I just couldn’t do it for Madame Bovary.

Something about the way the story is told made it just impossible for me to pay attention or engage with the characters. The imagery and prose was really nice, which kept me hoping ‘maybe it will get going here’ for nearly half the book. But in the end I just kept zoning out so often I had to give up.

I think the problem for me is the story is told from such a ‘zoomed out’ point of view. I felt I was observing all the characters from afar, in a detached kind of way, like they were specimens in a terrarium, instead of living the story through their eyes. Every description of events or scenery surrounding the characters was described in a detached way, from the narrators view, instead of being described through the eyes of the character. It made it very hard to care about anything that was happening.

The last book I gave up on, last year, Swan’s Way by Marcel Proust, also a French classic. Do I hate French novels?

Who knows. I should have quit on it a long time ago though instead of wasting so much time with it.

Now I’ve started ‘As I lay Dying’ and am already feeling much more engaged and interested in what is going on.

Yay.

Hello world

It’s my six year anniversary with this blog. Good golly does time fly.

I feel my writing has improved by orders of magnitude in the past six years, but other parts of me feel I’ve just been treading water. Most of my progress has been internal, and not really evident in the real world. I think these coming years will start to show my improvement with real world results.

Here’s hoping!

Not writing is depressing

Fingers gotta type words, and mine haven’t been.

My blog has been stagnating, oops! And I’m wondering if this is having an effect on my current project not moving forward. My gears are rusting perhaps…

I find that whenever I go too long without making progress on whatever I’m writing, I get really down. I feel the world is terrible and life is a crock and everything is pointless. Then I break through whatever wall I was stuck at and suddenly everything is great again… so transparent, but somehow I can never see it in the moment and realize ‘hey, I’m not feeling good. I must really need to write something…’

Type the words, Jonas, type the words!

 

Story number 4: JUPITER

I’ve completed story number 4 out of 6 for my resolution goal this year, and number 2 out of 7 for my planned collection of stories: The Planets.

This one was a real pain, and I had a hard time finding the spirit. But it came out okay in the end! Even though it went in a different direction than I’d planned.

It’s more personal proof that the ‘idea’ of the story is only one of many ingredients. It’s the seed that grows into who knows what. The end result might not have any evidence of what the seed looked like… let the story go where it wants, and don’t try to force it in your original direction!

 

A meaning hidden by other meanings…

What is the point of creating?

I’ve spent a bit of time the past few days wondering if anyone will ever want to read my stories, or enjoy reading them as much as I did writing them. Am I the only one who enjoys the sort of thing I want to write? Surely I can’t be… I’m not that special or unique or smart or dumb. There must be people out there who like similar things to what I write.

But what if there wasn’t? What if, somehow, the exact thing I enjoy reading and writing, was not popular with anyone… would I still write it?

Would I change my ‘style’ to please someone–anyone!–or, would I keep on trying to satisfy my own tastes and preferences.

You might ask: what’s the point of writing something no one wants to read?

But, what is the point of writing something that doesn’t say what you want it to?