Writer of stories about diversity.
Last week I attended a book club for writers, the first I have ever been to. I was motivated to join because I want to learn more about literature, in general and writing specifically and by doing it this way it will be cheaper than going to university to get a degree.
‘A Guide to Berlin’ by Gail Jones was our first book study, one I persevered with to the end the only catalyst being to give an analysis.
The initial and only impression of the book is that it is a pretentious book about nothing. There was a lot of scholarly prose about snow, all described in a very literary excellent manner, I’m sure. However, I felt the reader was wishing for something to happen and when it did it was an anti climax, over in a few short sentences. The same effect could have been had by just reading the first few lines of the book instead of waiting until five sixths the way through.
At our inaugural meeting I was quite anxious, had I envisioned the book completely wrongly? Probably, after all, I don’t have a degree in literature or creative writing I must have missed the brilliance of the book.
The opening first few moments of the group was exactly that, discussing the literary genius hidden within it, however, as more members spoke up the discussion turned to the story and the overall ‘read-a-bility’ of the book. Everyone agreed it was not Gail’s best work, nor a book that would encourage readers to buy her books. One member shared that Gail was a lecturer in literature at an Australian University and had intentionally written the book without a plot.
So is it well and good to have perfectly written prose that is literary genius that no one wants to read?
The idea of intellectual snobbery came to mind and with that in mind I discovered an apt quote by Marty Rubin, ‘Some people have such good taste they can’t enjoy anything.’
Enjoy the next chapter where Kate is finally out of the basement. As for my writing, the editing of the book has begun and I wrote a first chapter as it seemed to start without one.
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David Milberg is a New York based investor and entrepreneur. His blog covers all things entrepreneurial and finance.
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