Realizing I’ve Read Authors I’ve Been Meaning To Read

There are always authors that I mean to read but haven’t gotten around to yet, only sometimes I get around to reading them and realize I already have.  Usually this happens when I finally get into the respective author and check out their short stories.  I end up realizing “Oh, they wrote that one?”

For example. Philip Roth.  Now, at this point I have read every book he’s ever written with the exception of a couple of his nonfiction.  However, for years I had not but I kept seeing his books in the bookstore or hearing his name and kept telling myself “I should really check Roth out.”  Only, when I finally get intoRothI found myself realizing “Oh, he wrote ‘Defender of the Faith?’  I know that one.”

The same thing happened to me with Bernard Malamud.  I’d intended to readMalamudfor years.  Kept seeing his books in the store, but hadn’t picked one up.  Then I start getting into him and read his collection of short stories.  Of course, I note to myself “He wrote ‘Angel Levine?’  I love that story!”

I think this sort of thing comes from the fact that I don’t form quite as solid a mental hold on an author when I just see one of their short stories by itself.  If I don’t find out more than just that one story, intermixed in a collection or some such place with other stories by other authors, I may not mentally associate an author with the story.  Consequently, I can remember the story in detail but may not remember that author, thus forgetting that I like that author’s writing.

Of course, this happens less now that I talk more with other writers and readers.  I end up hearing them talk about the author more often when referencing these notable sorts of stories and it is a lot easier not to forget who the author was.  Kind of gets drummed into you.

Still, there are a hell of a lot of dynamite stories out there and a hell of a lot of wonderful writers.  It seems impossible to know them all and/or pay attention to all the ones that one should.  I guess that sooner or later I will have another one of these “aha!” moments.  And, again I will feel like a jackass.

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About David S. Atkinson

David S. Atkinson enjoys typing about himself in the third person, although he does not generally enjoy speaking in such a fashion. However, he is concerned about the Kierkegaard quote "Once you label me you negate me." He worries that if he attempts to define himself he will, in fact, nullify his existence...
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1 Response to Realizing I’ve Read Authors I’ve Been Meaning To Read

  1. Von Javery says:

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