We read for all sorts of other reasons, of course, but when I was in my 20s this was a sentiment I largely ascribed to.
|One of these books is not like the others...|
It’s been a bunch of years since I last read it, and I think the copy I currently own was purchased in a used book store. I gave it a glance before writing this. It’s fair to say my relationship to the book has changed. There is a self-conscious performance aspect to the writing that gets in the way of my entering the story anymore.
I also read Dostoevsky in my 20s (full disclosure: only Crime & Punishment and The Karamazov Brothers). The narratives seemed taffied into existence from a primordial present. I loved the interminable nights, running from house to house, encountering a lit lamp on a table, feverish conversations in a parlour or back alley, passions that could hardly be contained or expressed through words alone. I could recognize those nights from my youth. I knew my parents were familiar with those nights, as were my grandparents and generations more. I knew I was not alone.
This past weekend I retrieved my old copy of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash. I worried I might experience the sort of disappointment I felt with Generation X. Weirdly enough, although Stephenson’s writing is arguably “cooler” than Coupland’s (how deep is a reader’s emotional attachment to the protagonist hero likely to get when the guy is named “Hiro Protagonist”?) I felt more at home re-reading Snow Crash than I did re-reading GenX.
And I think it’s because Stephenson’s old book shares an unexpected kinship with Dostoevsky.
More anon — hopefully soon.
|An uncanny resemblance?|