Rekindling My Love For Fiction
Published on February 18, 2013 by Sara Foss

Over at the DG, I write about reading "Billy Budd," and how it broke me out of my recent bad mood about fiction.

Here's an excerpt:

"My New Year’s resolution to read more hit an immediate speed bump when I decided it was time to read 'Billy Budd, Sailor,' Herman Melville’s unfinished novella.

'How hard will this be?' I thought to myself. 'It’s a novella!'

My expectations for 'Billy Budd' were quite high: I read 'Moby Dick' about five years ago and thought it was the greatest book ever. And I’m not being hyperbolic — I’m hard-pressed to think of a better book. Not that I’ve read every book, mind you. I still haven’t read 'The Brothers Karamazov' or anything by Proust. But I have read 'War and Peace,' 'Crime and Punishment' and 'Anna Karenina,' and I think 'Moby Dick' is the superior work.

Of course, reading 'Moby Dick' is no small task.

It took me about six months to get through 'Moby Dick,' and I celebrated this accomplishment by reading lots of short and easy books. I like literary challenges, but I needed a break after 'Moby Dick.' (I took similar breaks after 'War and Peace' and 'V' by Thomas Pynchon.)

Click here to read the whole thing.

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