Thursday, September 18, 2008

Annie Dillard

Excuse the crazy placement of this photo on the page.  The only thing I could manage to do was rotate it so you wouldn't have to stand on your head to see it!  I'm a slow learner.

Anyway, my bookgroup is reading The Maytrees by Annie Dillard for October.  I've tried three different times to begin this book.  I'll get a few pages into it, get mad, and throw it down.  "This book is stupid!" I said, the last time I tried reading it. 

I know there are lots of Dillard fans out there.  I've tried to be one too.  I read about half of Pilgrim's Creek and started An American Childhood.  But I admit defeat.  She's not for me.  

For one thing, her non-fiction is excruciatingly detailed; too much information about things I don't consider very important.  And her fiction!   She breaks all the rules of writing.   Not that I'm adverse to rule breaking; I'm a rebel myself in that way.  But I want spoken words to have quotation marks around the actual phrases.  I want a book to flow smoothly along and not jar me sideways every other sentence.  I don't want to have to keep re-reading a sentence until it makes sense. Sometimes it does; often it doesn't.  I get mad when I can't follow the story for having to re-read so much.

So there.  I'm not going to read Annie Dillard, and I'm not ashamed to say so.


laurel said...

you sound like an impetuous young girl. i laughed when I read this. I have yet to form an opinion. But then, I am only three pages in :)

Katy said...

I'm with you! I struggled though a few pages of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, and put it down. Way too much detail. I learned from her and from reading Mark Helprin that I like character and plot driven books, not place driven books.

I may take you up on the offer for the Folk School. Brent says he would like to go, but when it gets down to brass tacks, he probably won't want to spend the money!

Laura A said...

Well, as you may know, I'm a huge Dillard fan, but I wouldn't try to talk you into reading anything you don't see the point in. You gave it a "no thank you bite," as it were, and decided to spend your hard-earned reading hours otherwise. I think there can be something very satisfying in knowing what you don't like, because it frees you up to do the things that you do like. Happy reading!

charlotte carroll said...

I don't particularly like her writing style either. The Maytrees has been very interesting. Its very esoteric and theoretical. It always has allegories that mean something hidden and you cannot quite put your finger on what she means to say. Its about "what Love is" and the purpose of life.

your personality should like it. actually. but then, you are an introverted intuition which would mean you really could careless about getting inside anyones head but your own. so, I suppose that makes sense.

I skimmmed and didn't reread. I just got what I read the first time and if I didn't get it then I wasn't meant to..and I believe maybe that is ok with Annie Dillard. Perhaps she wrote it that way. so that you float through it. and come out on the other end with things to think about or certain things that grabbed you b/c you are you.. and no one else "got" that part. you should give it another shot and don't expect to get anything. you'll be surprised what you come out with on the other end. it would be an amazing beach read in my opinion. that is, if you don't have kids and you can just sit around and read for hours.

Susan L said...

You are too funny, Debbie! And you're not afraid to say what you think, are you?! :-D I happen to be one of those people who really like Annie Dillard, *particularly* The Maytrees. It came at a good time for me, and I thought there was a lot of insight and even wisdom in it. But, gosh, I've certainly not liked books that others have loved. I guess it's all a matter of taste or timing or both, huh? There are too many good books out there to read ones you really don't like, aren't there?!

Pomegranate Market said...

My name is Elizabeth Beasley. I'm a friend of Katy Sammons and co-shopkeeper of Pomegranate Antique & Artisan Market in Lyons. I was updating my blog today and realized you had left a comment many weeks ago. I apologize for not responding sooner. I would love to see your work and possibly sell it in the shop. Just email me:
(Interesting that we share so many favorite books. My husband and I are currently reading The Shack.)