Thursday, February 14, 2008

Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf or Richard Powers?

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I had a post ready for today, but I liked this suggestion from Chris even better, so … thanks, Chris!

Here’s something for Valentine’s Day.

Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?

Not exactly, but Richard Powers is one of my very favorite authors and there are two books of his I simply cannot read: Prisoner's Dilemma and The Time of Our Singing. However, they have not deterred me because he is still the author of The Gold Bug Variations. I have bought his later books, read them, and enjoyed them heartily. I loved The Echo Maker. After all, as Shakespeare tells us, "love is not love/Which alters when it alteration finds."

I also had read pretty much everything Virginia Woolf had ever written or written about her, while directing a play about her. Getting the play produced took five years and the play then ran for the better part of a year. When it was all over I couldn't stand to even look at one of her books. I packed them all in a couple of boxes and relegated them to the basement, where they sat until I moved back to NYC. Then I unpacked the boxes and she and her Bloomsburian friends pretty much rule their own bookcase now in my dining room. I reread her books more often than just about anyone else's.

1 comment:

heather (errantdreams) said...

If I were a less fickle reader I suspect I'd have an answer to this one, but my tendency to flit from author to author has largely insulated me from decline in authorial quality.