Daily prompt: No deep excavations, thanks


I like a good yarn.

I like a good yarn more than I like a piece of ‘good’ modern literature, on the whole, given that ‘good’ literature these days often seems dedicated to the deep excavation of very boring minds. Which is a sweeping generalisation and I know that full well and offer no excuse. Although if I were to excavate my own boring mind, I could probably come up with something suitably deep and meaningful, like a legacy of childhood: the secret, passive aggressive rebellion against the constant demands of her eldest sister’s literary snobbery. But really, why bother?

I like a good yarn. With at least one character I can relate to. Why invite into my mental refuge a crowd of boring – fake – simpering (I hate simpering) – stupid – cardboard people? Or a gathering hell bent on creating cringe-worthy situations that can’t possibly end well? There’s enough of that on the news.

A lot of good yarns involve Coleridge’s ‘willing suspension of disbelief’. Murder mysteries, for example. I have no knowledge of homicide investigations and don’t want any. But I can happily go along with what the author chooses to present as truth (give or take one coincidence or lucky break too many). I can also cope with our hero/heroine doing blatantly stupid stuff secure in the knowledge that they survive. What I don’t like is bleak.

Which isn’t to say I don’t read non-fiction or watch documentaries. I do. But if I’m reading for entertainment, I want it to be entertaining. Is that so wrong?

I suspect that really, there are a lot of people like me: people who’d rather read the latest Harlan Coben than the latest literary masterpiece. The difference is that I’m too old to bother pretending.



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8 Responses to Daily prompt: No deep excavations, thanks

  1. I seldom if ever read fiction. Life is stranger. 🙂

  2. Embeecee says:

    I almost ALWAYS read fiction…the other stuff bores me. My siblings are fans of the biographic, the non-fiction account of something..and they’re always foisting off their old books on me, which sit untouched on the shelf. Now I DO enjoy ‘classic” “FICTION – Dickens, Shakespeare, Bronte, Poe, Stevenson, Alcott…I could go on. Those ‘old’ writers could WRITE.

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