Do you have trouble abandoning a book? I do, especially when it’s a book that is a classic, or has very favorable reviews. I feel like I should like it. I am currently reading Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. I am on page 113 and there are 581 pages total, and I just don’t think I am going to make it! I consider myself fairly intelligent, but I find myself reading and reading the sentences. But worse than that, I find myself skipping over sentences, just lightly skimming the words. Which is bad, because this author has sentences that are about 1/2 a page long.
Here is a sentence (background, he is in church):
And my mind rushing for relief away from the spring dusk and flower scents, away from the time-scene of the crucifixion to the time-mood of the birth; from spring-dusk and vespers to the high, clear, lucid moon of winter and snow clinging upon the dwarfed pines where instead of the bells, the organ and trombone choir speak carols to the distances drifted with snow, makinig of the night air a sea of crystal water lapping the slumbering land to the farthest reaches of sound, for endless miles, bringing the new dispensation even to the Goden Day, even unto the house of madness.
And here is another sentence:
And here, sitting rigid, I remember the evenings spent before the sweeping platform in awe and pleasure, and in the pleasure of the awe; remember the short formal sermons intoned from the the pulpit there, rendered in smooth articulate tones, with calm assurance purged of that wild emotion of the crude preachers most of us knew in our home towns and of whom we were deeply ashamed, those logical appeals which reached us more like the thrust of a firm and formal design requiring nothing more than the lucidity of uncluttered periods, the lulling movement of multisyllabic words to thrill and console us.
Now, I can appreciate the talent that it took to write those sentences. And I understand what each sentence is saying, it’s just that by the time I get to the end of the sentence, I’ve lost track of where we started. I know that this is a classic, with an important concept, but I work too hard during the day, to work this hard at night, when I want to be relaxing. I like my reading to challenge me, but in a good way, not in a frustrating way.