Wednesday 13 May 2015

April in Review (Or How I OD'ed on Romantic Lit and Went on Hiatus)

Bender rules.
For how much longer is anyone's guess.

In retrospect, trying to read The Prelude by William Wordsworth in a single sitting may not have been the wisest decision on my part. I clearly got overzealous in my determination to do a crash-course on the Romantic Period for Fanda's Classic Lit Challenge and paid for it dearly in the end. One can never get enough John Keats and he still remains my favorite poet next to Shakespeare but I must confess: Endymion, Lamia and Hyperion gave me a lot of trouble. Let's just say that I much prefer his shorter poems. The first section of Endymion is actually quite magnificent to behold but falters in quality shortly thereafter, dragging on interminably that nearly put me into a catatonic state. Don't worry Keats, you're still a straight up OG. Afterwards, I decided to delve into the works of some underrated female writers of the period including Charlotte Smith, Hannah More and Anna Letitia Barbauld. All great poets in their own right that deserve to be recognized alongside their male counterparts but at this point in my reading, I was running on fumes. I did manage to write a brief review on Mary Wolfstonecraft's A Vindication for the Rights of Women but it was subpar at best, just barely glossing the surface. Then came Blake, Shelley and Byron, which was enough to burn me out completely. I so much wanted to write extensively on the work of these great poets but struggled immensely to say anything that was even remotely compelling or insightful. Frustrated with my own inadequacies along with the stress associated with work and the myriad of life's challenges, it was time to take that mini-vacation I spoke about at the beginning of April...

And now I'm back. I have plenty of reading challenges to catch up on and the pile of books to review is quite daunting. Not to mention, having to work 40+ hours a week does not leave much time for reading and writing reviews. After coming home from an exhausting shift, sleep takes precedence and blogging is an afterthought. Truth be told, I've been discouraged lately. It also pains me to say this but my interest in writing reviews has been diminishing for quite some time. I used to find it enjoyable and rewarding but now it seems like a chore. Not to mention, I'm not very good at it either. Granted, I have never considered myself a literary critic, just a regular dude with eclectic taste who likes to read. I'd rather leave the critical analysis to the experts and those talented bloggers out there who are capable of writing such compact and intelligent reviews.

I hope to find the time and energy over the next little while to prevent this blog from falling asunder due to neglect but make no promises at this current juncture. My goal for the month of May is to at least read one new novel and write a half-ass review for Virginia Woolf's A Voyage Out. Seems reasonable, right?