Sunday, February 12, 2012

Down and up in a single day

If I ever needed proof that books - literature - was capable of inherently influencing the moods of readers, I need look no further than my experiences today. I began the day with the final parts of The Last of the Just by AndrĂ© Schwarz-Bart, a book that had by no means been cheerful thus far. But somehow in its final pages, the book managed to turn even more grim, and ended on a particularly painful note. The effect was powerful, and when I set the book aside I found myself quite deeply depressed.

This happens, of course, and I shouldn't have been too surprised. After a while, as I went about my day, the pure ache of the book refused to leave me. I went to my bookshelves, hoping to find another book that would take care of the funk. But every book on hand seemed too depressing, too serious, too heavy to take my mind off Schwarz-Bart's surprisingly disturbing story. They all seemed as though they would merely enhance the mood. It wasn't until several hours later that I remembered that I had just checked Fathermucker out of the library the other day and that the book was still somewhere in my bag, promising silly jokes and light-hearted jabs at our modern world.

I've been wanting to read Fathermucker since reading the hook of a first chapter Harper posted to their Scribd account a couple months ago. The book proved to be slightly less light than it gives the impression of being (actually telling an interesting story and raising some very interesting points about society), but was exactly the kind of amusing and entertaining fare I needed to clear my head (also, the second book I've read in recent months that's referenced Sufjan Stevens... which I find somewhat strange). As I finished reading it, I felt relieved of the heaviness The Last of the Just had set on me, but pondering other issues like parenthood and Asberger's. Proof that sometimes we all need a bit of a break from the "serious" stuff... even if what we end up reading isn't actually less meaningful.

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