Literature 1, Dan 0

My usual way to go about life is to act first and think about it later. Not always the wisest. The middle of the night, when I should be sleeping, has become my body’s preferred time to fire up the synapses, so I woke up at 3AM thinking about E.M. Forster and A Room with a View.

Specifically, my question in an earlier blog, What is with these Brits and their crazy manners? What dawned on me is that this question would make a wonderful underlying theme for a book. If written by an Englishman, it might be a book set in Italy in which extreme notions of proper decorum led to various consequences. Perhaps the book could be titled A Room with a View. If, in fact, Forster’s attitude toward British propriety was one of befuddled disbelief (why the hell are we living our lives this way?), then the plot of the book takes on a whole new dimension.

So, I fired up my Kindle at 3AM, suddenly eager to find out what happens next to Miss Honeychurch, Mr. Beebe, and all the rest of them. Even though I suffered from yet another lacuna in my sleep, it was somehow reassuring to see that the power of literature to get me thinking about things lurks in the background of my reading and springs up even when I think I don’t like a book.

Perhaps it is time to revise my attitude toward book reading: books with embossed covers make great reads but not great thinks, and real literature always makes great thinks even if the reading is tougher.

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