Do you ever feel embarrassed, reticent when talk turns to books EVERYBODY seems to have read, should have read and/or raved about and you either have never heard of the book, didn’t get all the fuss about it or were scared to give it a try? Take Ulysses for example. That James Joyce opus certainly falls in the supposed-to-have category. Any serious reader has cracked that classic, appreciates its ground-breaking merits, right?
Now, in one of the many current articles featuring the writer Donna Tartt, author of one of this season’s most talked about novels, The Goldfinch, she reveals “I know I don’t love ‘Ulysses’ as much as I am supposed to..” Does this comment from such a well-read, literary heavyweight allow me to remove my dunce cap, temporarily at least?In every photo, with her signature severe coif and clothes, Tartt casts an intimidating presence, a look one interviewer nailed as a cross between Anna Wintour and Oscar Wilde. Scary like Ulysses. But all is not austere here. I smiled when, in an interview, Tartt answered the question, If you could meet any writer, dead or alive, who would it be? “If it was a dinner date? Albert Camus. That trench coat! That cigarette! I think my French is good enough. We’d have a great time”
Nobody realizes that some people expend tremendous energy merely to be normal.–Albert Camus
Will I turn the 700+ pages of The Goldfinch which comes out tomorrow? Perhaps. The advance word says I should.
All I want from a book is the tingle down the spine, for my hairs to stand on end.–Donna Tartt