Hello my friends! It has been a while. Being down in the dumps is pretty lame, and I’ll be the first to admit that I was as lame as they come. I was so lame, that you could have dropped me off in lameville and they wouldn’t have wanted me. I was so lame that ducks would come up to me and go “You’re a lame duck, bro.” I was so lame that this right now is really lame, which means I’m still that lame!
Pretty much, you wouldn’t have enjoyed me. See that post below? That was depressed Brian. I’d be lying to you if I told you I wasn’t still heartbroken, because I am, but I’m starting to mend. Sometimes we reach a stage in our life where, despite how much we want to fight it and just tear through the threads of string attached to your limbs, you have to just go with where fate wants to bring you. So, for now, I feel like I’m on the up-slope of the circle of life.
I’ve been keeping up with my reading, at least. See, literature wont ever betray you. I feel like books will tell you how life truly is, and what to expect from it. If it seems too good to be true, my friends, it is. I don’t think any book pushes that idea better than Things Falls Apart by Chinua Achebe.
Why do I say “not my usual cup of tea?” Well, this may sound a little distasteful, but I’ve purposely been diverting myself from African/African American literature for a while now. It is by no means because I am a racist, but simply because in high school and college it was jammed down my throat so much that I wanted nothing to do with it anymore. Something I despise is when people tell me what I should be finding in a book, and that anything else I see is wrong. If literature wasn’t for interpretation, then it would simply be words.
I did have one teacher… Bernie we called him… he was probably the only teacher of African/ African American literature I had who really let everyone have a voice in his class. We read Go Tell it on the Mountain, and it was one of my most memorable discussions of a book I had in college.
I digress, I normally stay away from it. But, it was on the list, and I read. And I was not disappointed.
There is a reason that this has been consistently published for 50 years. It is a masterful work. Achebe does some fascinating things with his narrator, having him be on the outside of it all, yet so understanding of the culture of the Ibo village. He will tell of some things that happen (particularly with the murder of small children) that are so taboo in American culture, that is completely normal, and the narrator doesn’t bat an eye. It’s not a unique concept, to use the completely void narrator, but it is used with such precision within this book that it just makes me jealous of his ability to write.
In all honesty, it is a book worth reading. Okonkwo is man who knew only one way of life, and didn’t understand what change was. It eventually destroyed him and all he loved. In a way, I felt the same. I was pushed into a situation of change, but I wont allow it to destroy me, or my friendship. That, my friends, it something that I can take from this book, and it is something I feel everyone needs to truly understand.
Normally I would hop onto the next book on my list, but I’ve had one sitting on my shelf taunting me that I just had to start. One of my favorite short stories ever written is The Man who Died by D.H. Lawrence. I never read any of his novels, however, so I dived into The Rainbow, and so far I’m loving it. It’s very heartfelt, and written from and about the flesh. But, as everyone knows, D.H. Lawrence loved his sex.
Stay thirsty my friends!