My wife relates to me the plot of a novel she’s reading in which the protagonist is incapable of experiencing pleasure — from which fact I gather that’s it’s an autobiographical work. The inability to experience pleasure is a necessary condition for the composition of a novel.
One doesn’t enter adulthood merely by reaching the legally defined age of majority — nor, alternatively, by participating in a rite of passage such as the bar mitzvah. Rather, adulthood is that state one attains upon recognizing that his talent — and, in particular, the temptation to profit from it — is his greatest burden.
From a notebook of Tupac Shakur come these lines from a draft of “California Love,” his 1995 duet with Dr. Dre:
Say what you say—
Give me that bomb beat from Dre—
Let me serenade the streets of LA, mkay?
Create a television show that isn’t TV’s #1 new comedy
It represents a case either of hubris or carelessness any time one of us employs the future tense — rather than one of the subjunctive forms of the verb instead, that is. The indicative mood is the province of the past and present, exclusively — and, from what I can gather, barely even the latter of those two.
Among the Hugs
It requires a certain interior strength to begin reading a novel and then, finding that it’s poor, to excuse oneself from completing it. With practice, however, it can be done.
For example: after considerable training, I’ve developed the ability to not even start reading in the first place. Each day, I specifically not read hundreds of books. Perhaps even thousands. Indeed, thousands is probably closer to the truth.