I started blogging again. I know. It's, like, a miracle. I just finished reading Victoria Schwab's THE ARCHIVED and was suddenly inspired to start talking about books again. So that's exactly what I'm going to do.
A friend of mine knows me and how much I love talking. She said to me recently, "Do you blog about all this STUFF you talk to me about?" By STUFF she meant literary jargon. I answered honestly with a, "not anymore." She asked me why. "Why don't you? You're good at it." I told her I didn't know, but that was a lie. Every time I say that, I'm lying through my freaking teeth.
I do know why I don't talk about this STUFF anymore. Why I don't talk about much of anything anymore. Why I've gone silent. Since I've come to college it's become ever so clear that when I speak, when I try to talk about things, other people aren't understanding what it is I'm saying. Not literally and not with the passion or the intrigue with which I understand them.
I've met a lot of smart people here--- brilliant people--- who want to talk politics. Talk social justice issues. Talk math, science, computers, art. Talk about recycling and how jank it is that California hasn't legalized gay marriage or marijuana. And I don't hear them either. It's not that I don't care about these people--- these brilliant people--- or the things they care about, or anything other than books, books, BOOKS! But I don't have the same passion for those issues. I used to be afraid to admit that. A big part of me still is. I'm afraid that I'm not intelligent enough to speak my mind. That it doesn't count, doesn't matter, that I read a book and really, really, really think you should read it, too.
I have ALL OF THE FEELS for Victoria Schwab's THE ARCHIVED right now because I love Victoria Schwab. My official review will go up tomorrow on Elsewhere but here is the unofficial reason--- the truth--- of why I can't stop recommending this book enough.
This book taught me it's okay to feel. To need. To want. To have something to say AND SAY IT. Taught me that the past is past and present's present. That it's so easy to forget, that we're only made up of what we remember. That I should start making memories. Archiving myself. Making my own History. It made me tingle with anticipation for the future. Made me want to talk my freaking head off.
I am intelligent. I have a mind and things on it. And a big reason I love this novel is because I love the author. She always knows what to say AND how to say it.
My Lit Professor would kill me for admitting this because this is EXACTLY the sort of thing Wimsatt and Beardsley would have raged about--- this is EXACTLY what they knew I'd say and it's WHY we should read novels as if the author weren't a factor--- as if he didn't exist.
But here it is:
I loved THE ARCHIVED EVEN MORE because I love Victoria Schwab. Love what she's about. Love her mind. Love her thoughts. Love how she processes the world. Love that it reflects my own thoughts, my own process, but translates into beautiful, creative people and places, translates into The Narrows and The Archived and into Owen, Lindsey, Mackenzie. I've read reviews that say Schwab's writing is slow, but I've learned it's deliberate. I've learned to be patient, to wait, to get over my need for kissing and answers and to-the-point convos and noise and I've learned to appreciate her silence.
Because what Schwab doesn't say is just as important as what she does. And what she does say makes me FEEL when she finally says it. And the way she goes about saying it makes me feel ALL OF THE FEELS because I have to be patient. And I feel everything because I love, love, love this author for being a wonderful--- a beautiful--- person.
Let me just say one last thing: I cried when I read the Acknowledgements. I managed to hold on through all the pain, tension, darkness, action, STUFF that was this novel. But when I read those acknowledgements, y'all, I CRIED. Because I didn't care one bit what Wimsatt and Beardsley or freaking Derrida or my professor would have to say about the "ethics" of how I read this novel. I read those acknowledgements and saw the beauty of the author and realized that the two could never be separated--- not really. And if I loved one, there would be room for the other. So I squeezed. And now I can't recommend this novel enough.
P.S. See you tomorrow on Elsewhere.