Similarly, I have two Umberto Eco books on my shelf. I made it a third of the way through one and I’m sure I will never finish either. Yet there they sit because I like to think of myself as the kind of person who reads Umberto Eco.
You should finish those! I know Eco can be taxing but it is worth it.
And I’m not saying that to make myself sound cool. I freely admit that I have abandoned copies of Ulysses and of Gravity’s Rainbow and that it took me a nearly year-long hiatus to finish The Third Policeman.
I read it over a weekend. I think it has to be taken at speed. The action only covers a day or two.
The ‘clever’ side of this is the correspondence between people and places in this book and features in Homer’s ‘Odyssey’: an educated someone of this day would have been all “whoo, he’s the cyclops, right, hehehe” and I got none of that. I could look it up, like I could look up all the references in The Four Quartets, but never did. But I thought it stood without that: it might just have been the scaffolding to build the book, but you take it down at the end.
Meh. Maybe it’s just not your proverbial cup of tea.
I’ve pretty much stopped listening to the implicit messaging that if I don’t get what’s Great And Glorious about this or that work of “Art,” there’s something wrong with me. It’s all mostly a matter of taste really. And of cultural gatekeeping by empowered groups whose power I’d rather not bow down to, thanks very much.