As a person, I find nothing more enjoyable than tasting what I’ve just cooked, or looking at what I’ve just drawn or painted, or reading what I’ve once written. If there’s ever another spectator to my creations, I expect them to do the same: contemplate. No, not contemplate, but maybe delight or savor. After I’ve made something new, or even fixed something broken, I step back and walk away to later return and sit in contemplation of the completed work. It brings me such peace, that It has become something I expect forward to doing after completing a task. Maybe it’s sometimes the reason why I make something, just so I can sit back and look at what I’ve finished.
This behavior has become another sentence in my living manual; I’ve written it under the section How to Delight in all that you do. But, it isn’t something that I only apply to what I create. You will never see my face glued to a museum work. The tip of my nose will never be within five centimeters of the painting before me; it’s rude. Whenever I go to a museum, I keep in mind that a human like myself created the art work. So I wonder, how would they feel if they knew that I was tearing their creation apart with every blink? And it is the same principle that I’ve applied to literature.
And it is because of this rule of enjoyment that I’ve become slightly annoyed with my literature seminar.
Yes, literature should be analized.
No, we should not intrude into the emotions of the writer through their works.
Almost every time I go to my lit seminar class I get papers telling me about the novel I’m currently reading or about to start reading. This may be rude, but I usually disregard the papers. Someti
mes I read them once I’ve finished the novel. It just seems to me as if I was about to meet someone, but my friend tells me what kind of person they are before I get the chance to create my own image of them. I’m about to meet a set of characters, or about to meet someone’s inner-child, and I get sheets of papers that tell me who they are and what they feel before I can reach to those conclusions myself! I find it just a little annoying.
There’s a more pleasant ways in which I like to develop my relationship with books. I like to wake up on a cloudy Saturday morning, run to a coffee shop and get a cup of white chocolate mocha, find a comfortable couch, curl up and take a novel out of my backpack, and then I give my full and undivided attention to the story before me. Get my own impressions from the characters, have conversations with them. Take a step back, contemplate and savor the book in my hands.