In a previous post I stressed the importance of reading.
But it’s not just that you read; what you read is of equal importance.
The novel: Novels are essentially piles and piles of words endlessly strung together. Novelists are concerned with things like setting, theme, plot resolution, and character growth. Do friends become enemies? Do enemies become friends? Are obstacles overcome?
Important questions need to be answered in novels.
- Does Captain Ahab’s obsession with the white whale drag him under?
- Does Edmund Dantes’ quest for revenge ruin his chance for happiness?
- Does Jay Gatsby reunite with his long-lost love?
- Does Sydney Carton seek redemption by going to the gallows for another?
- Does Lucy ever let Charlie Brown kick the football?
Seriously, novels are just exhausting–I would avoid them.
Note: The word denouement is fun to say–it’s all Frenchy.
The short story: Short stories are just novels for people with short attention spans. They are primarily written by lazy novelists who probably had a little too much to drink the night before, and couldn’t be bothered to write a proper novel.
Don’t waste your time with short stories.
Poetry: The key element of poetry you need to recognize is that if can even remotely understand it, it’s not proper poetry. When a poet writes a poem about a leaf being blown from a tree, falling to the ground, and being trampled underfoot. He’s not actually writing about a leaf being blown from a tree, falling to the ground, and being trampled underfoot.
The leaf represents hopelessness, and the futility of a life marred by series of tragic events. The leaf being blown from the tree represents a life spiraling into an alcohol fueled abyss of despair. The leaf being trampled underfoot represents the crushing weight of an uncaring world and inevitable grip of death.
It’s all so confusing and depressing. I once spent the better part of an afternoon curled up in the fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably after reading a collection Sylvia Plath poems. (Sylvia Plath was one depressing chick.)
For the sake of your mental health stay away from poetry.
Note: This does not apply to limericks. Limericks are short humorous poems with a strict meter and rhyme scheme. They tend to revolve around an odd man from a small island off the coast of Massachusetts.
The humor blog: Humor blogs are unsurpassed in pure entertainment value. They are practically happiness in written form.
Many humor bloggers are attractive people; the rest are stunningly attractive people. Humor bloggers are the best sort of people; the sort of people you want to praise continuously and occasionally bask in their reflected glow.
They have breath that is perpetually minty fresh, and they seldom sweat.
Humor blogs are read by highly intelligent people. They are read by people who are witty and charming. They are wholly unlike those dullards who read books of poetry.
Humor blogs enrich your life, and they give meaning to your otherwise drab existence.
Whenever a humor blog is read, somewhere a small child laughs.
Humor blogs are to be read, read again, memorized, and repeated aloud in public.
You have your mission–so get to it.