30 December 2001
So, I don’t know if anyone else has been having this problem, but ever since September 11th, I haven’t been able to read. None of my books seem interesting or important anymore, and I find myself unable to concentrate on them. This has meant a major and saddening lifestyle change for me, since I used to read a lot, and pretty regularly.
This weekend I’ve been trying to reread some of the books I used to love, like A Moveable Feast and The Magic Mountain and A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. But they just don’t engage me. I get through twenty or thirty pages, or sometimes fewer, and then I have to put the book down.
I can’t tell if it’s because world events have brought larger issues to bear on my mind, or if I’m just burned out or tired. Or maybe this represents some kind of sudden maturation of my tastes — could it be that I’ve become too jaded and world-weary for fiction?
I hesitate to talk about this here because I’ve always found web pages that drone on and on about the mundane and commonplace innerworkings of some random person’s mind self-absorbed and boring. But sometimes, you just need an outlet.
Tonight, Joe and Jacob and I saw A Beautiful Mind at the Fenway. It was not spectacular — at points the dialogue strained credibility, and towards the end, the cheese was poured on in layers — but it was a good movie about a remarkable person and his quest for truth. This, for one reason or another, figures into the way I’m feeling right now.