Anon ~ Sometimes

Sometimes I stop read­ing a book, not because I do not like the book but because I like it far too much. There may be a sense that I resent the book hav­ing a cer­tain kind of author­i­ty which I want to defy, by ignor­ing it for a time, or chas­ing it off with anoth­er book. This hap­pened to me recent­ly. I was read­ing Modiano, again— SUCH FINE BOYS— when it occurred to me that I must stop. The plea­sure was too intense. Was this what Roland Barthes had so often remarked on, juis­sance, the plea­sure of the text. Or was it some­thing else? The feel­ing that there was a demand this text would now place on me to feel some­thing that i did not wish to feel, to remem­ber a time or times in my life that would cause me to write and that writ­ing would be dif­fi­cult though nec­es­sary. I put Modiano away and began read­ing Moravia. What is it about these French and Italian writ­ers whose names begin with M, who evoke a lost peri­od in his­to­ry, Vichy and Mussolini, a peri­od of casu­al vio­lence and ruined rela­tion­ships, fas­cism and resis­tance, shad­owy char­ac­ters on the page that are inter­change­able and ulti­mate­ly unknow­able but who nonethe­less draw us into inscrutable mys­ter­ies before dis­ap­pear­ing? So now I’ve chased Modiano with Moravia and even ordered my next Moravia nov­el, THE WOMAN OF ROME, but I know I will come back to Modiano and SUCH FINE BOYS, although I do not know when. My read­ing life is with­out any dis­cernible sched­ule oth­er than avoid­ance.