Earlier this year, a heartbreaking event had one of those astounding “everything happens for a reason” impacts on me. The situation was awful, but at the same time, it managed to reconnect me with a friend with whom I had lost contact. It had been about 15 years since I’d spoken with her, and then suddenly we became better friends than we ever were, “back in the day”.
At some point during our regular, mile-long (or kilometre-long, for those of us who use metric) emails, my old-new friend mentioned that she had downloaded an e-copy of “Anna Karenina” and that she was starting to read it. I had always had an irrational fear of that book, after having heard it mentioned incessantly by the characters in “The Unbearable Lightness of Being”, which I read when I was in high school. I had assumed that it was a story that would be far too complex for me to understand.
After some encouragement, I downloaded my own copy. Alright, in truth, I downloaded several copies. As much as it may be free and easy to find because it is public domain, there are an awful lot of bad translations out there!
As I first started reading it, I was surprised to see that my friend was right about “Anna Karenina”. It is far more accessible than I had expected it to be. However, as it turns out, accessibility isn’t everything.
When I read for enjoyment, I read to wind down at the end of the day, immediately before I go to sleep at night. It’s the only time I have. Unfortunately, a barely-conscious state is not at all compatible with this story. Tolstoy did love his descriptions and slow-moving dialogue, but my ability to remain awake does not. While I’m certain that the description and dialog create a foundation upon which a glorious story is finally built, I haven’t been able to make it past the first quarter of the book, to see it for myself.
The book has what I am now calling “The Karenina Effect”. Despite the fact that there may be a story buried within it that approaches genius, I will likely never know about it because it has a similar impact on me to a large mug of chamomile tea and the sound of steady rain. Zzzzzz….
Could Tolstoy have known that he was creating the ideal non-prescription Ambien alternative for someone like me? But more importantly (at least, to me it’s more important, and this is my blog post, so there!), will I know it if my own descriptions will have a similar impact on you, Reader, once I finish editing the Book?
A book is a very personal thing. The Book that I’m writing with Amanda is easily one of my favourite parts of my life. I think it’s good. Very good. And I’m working hard to make it better. At the same time, when the day comes for it to be published, is there any way to know for certain that it won’t need a complementary energy drink coupon sold along with it?
Reader, if my blog posts are your best method for combating insomnia, you’d tell me, right?
Note – WordPress has just informed me that as I am using this platform for free, they will occasionally place an add below the posts on this blog. I just wanted to take this opportunity to say that those are added automatically by WordPress and that none of the ads were selected by either Amanda or myself and neither of us endorse any of the products or services being advertised.