No sparks

Some writers I have every intention to like, but can´t. Joyce Carol Oates is one of them. I have read a few of her books, "Blonde", of course, "Middle Age: A romance", and long ago, "Solstice". While I didn´t exactly dislike them, there are scenes I still remember quite well about the first ones, their contours seem rather, well, loose in my memory. I also read her essay "On boxing" and perhaps that´s the one I liked best, because I read it twice, although it´s been too long ago for me to remember why just now. Perhaps I should put it on my list of things to re-read.

Now, I have a collection of essays called "The faith of a writer: Life, craft, art" in my hands. I find the process of art interesting, and I will much rather read books about, say, Kafka or Virginia Woolf, than actually reading them. Some artists just interest me more in that sense, as works of art in themselves, in the way they lived and worked. And Stephen King and Elisabeth George has written some excellent books on writing that I learned a lot from. Still, they are not among my favourites of authors.

Oates, however, can´t seem to say anything about her art that interests me. She recalls her childhood, her first influences, like Lewis Carroll and Robert Frost. She goes on to give advice to young authors (she is, after all, a teacher) and I suppose it is fine advice, but I just can´t find anything really interesting. Perhaps she isn´t personal enough. Or perhaps her person just doesn´t grab me. It just doesn´t happen with her. Perhaps it´s just chemistry.

I can only call this a failed read. Oh well. It happens. Move on.

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