Private: Confessions

About Last Night and the Old Hag have clued me in to a sort of literary confessional going on over at 2Blowhards. The idea is to name some indisputably great writers, artists or musicians whose work doesn’t resonate for you. The rules:

* You aren’t disputing the greatness of the artist or the artwork.

* You can see the point of the work or the artist, and you understand what’s there to be gotten.

* You understand the greatness of it too — the range of its influence, what other artists have taken from it, etc. It’s impressive, and you’re impressed.

* And you’ve given the work or the artist a decent and earnest try.

* But you’ve found that when you look at it, or you listen to it, or you read it — the magic evaporates.

Here’s my list:

I read and liked The Crying of Lot 49 well enough, but haven’t managed anything else. His cleverness grates. Sorry, Mr. Maud and Leonard.

Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities.
A friend gave me both volumes for Christmas three years ago. I read half of the first one several times but have finally given up. Looks like the Old Hag is on the same page.

Doris Lessing’s The Golden Notebook
I read it. I understand its importance in the canon. But I find it tedious and long-winded. For this I truly am sorry.