A non-book post
Yesterday I was talking with Dylan on the phone and he surprised me by saying he’d actually started reading a book. Not just a book, but a fiction book, a novel! Big news! When I asked how this startling event had come to pass, he replied that it was “last resort entertainment” for an hour-long train ride he was dreading due to the temporary death of his phone battery. Apparently, however unattractive reading may be, it's better than staring at others or out the window.
On the platform before boarding he saw a little wooden box with free books. He chose one called “Waking Gods” by Sylvain Neuvel. (Dylan said it was by Pierce Brown but my research differs.) Whoever wrote it, I was pretty impressed that Dylan was reading a novel. I asked him what it was about and he said, “I don’t know exactly because I fell asleep after 5 pages.”
Then he declared, with what sounded like sympathy considering his lack of love for literature, “I feel bad for books.”
Or was it just pity? “They’re put on wooden shelves for free," he continued with a little sniffle.(1) "It’s encouraged to just give them away.”
Poor books. You’re a last resort and free giveaway. At least Dylan feels bad for you, but maybe you don’t need his pity! Some people still love you. What about me, I love you, I don’t pity you, sitting in your little local wooden book box. People stop by to pick you up and read you. I write about you every week and you make me happy! So no need to feel bad Dylan, because books are bad, and bad is the new good!
(1) Dylan didn't really sniffle, that's literary license. But he did sound like he pitied those books!
Here's some work Dylan did many moons ago when he was in middle school.
Assignment: Read the story and write a letter to the author giving your opinion of it.
Original in French below.
Dear Alexandre Pushkin,
I don’t know if your work, The Captain’s Daughter, is a good book or not, but speaking as a bad reader, I can tell you that I didn’t like it at all. I looked on internet to see if there were other people who liked it, and apparently, a great Russian writer named Gogol said that he adored it because the story was so simple, even more simple than reality. He said that proved that your are a genius. I find that completely idiotic. It’s true that your book is fairly simple, but that doesn’t make the book great. It makes it boring because life is already simple, so it’s not good to make it even worse. Plus, the story is simple, but the way you wrote it is pretty complicated. You often use words that are difficult to understand for young people like myself. I know that you wrote the book in Russian, but you should have chosen a better translator. Also, the number of characters makes the story difficult to understand, especially with their similar names. If I’m not mistaken, you called three completely different characters Ivan so the reader has to remember their last names.
Lettre à l’auteur
Je ne sais pas si votre œuvre, La Fille du Capitaine, est un bon livre ou pas, mais en tant que mauvais lecteur, je peux vous dire que je ne l’ai pas aimé. J’ai regardé sur internet pour voir s’il y avait des gens qui l’aimaient, et apparemment, un grand écrivain russe appelé Gogol a dit qu’il l’adorait parce que l’histoire était tellement simple ; encore plus simple que la réalité. Il a dit que sa prouvait que vous êtes un génie. Je trouve ça complètement idiot.
C’est vrai que votre livre est assez simple, mais cela ne rend pas le livre génial. Ça le rend ennuyeux car la vraie vie est déjà simple, donc il ne faut pas la rendre pire. En plus, l’histoire est simple, mais la façon dont vous l’avez écrite est assez compliquée. Vous avez souvent utilisé des mots difficiles à comprendre pour des jeunes comme moi. Je sais que vous avez écrit ce livre en russe, mais il fallait choisir un meilleur traducteur. Aussi, le nombre de personnages rend l’histoire difficile à comprendre, surtout avec leurs noms similaires. Si je m’en souviens bien, vous avez appelé trois personnages complètement différents Ivan donc il fallait se souvenir de leurs patronymes.