Friday, March 19, 2010

I'm sorry, Stieg Larsson

I'm sorry, Stieg Larsson.
I didn't know you were gone.
I don't know how that never reached my ears. Copy after copy of your books have been passing from my hands for months now, a year, how long? I have heard, from how many mouths?, how addictive and entertaining your books are, and I have never cracked page one to find out for myself. I still probably won't, they don't seem to be my cup of tea. For this I don't feel bad, since there are simply too many books in the world, and only one of me.
But I do apologize, because of my basic distrust of the book that everybody loves, the book that sells and sells and sells for what seems like forever. It's not my job to read those books, it's my job to know about the other ones, the books that nobody is reading, the books that wouldn't see light of day unless the bookseller brings them down from the shelf, and hands them to their reader.
I apologize for judging your books, and, by extension, you. For imagining you out there on reading tours, on talk shows, doing all the grinding things required of the author whose books rocket to the top of the lists.
As an artist with no name recognition, no affiliation, no prospects other than the joyous one of continuing to work, success is a danger, a ghost, and a stone around the neck that my instincts warn me will alter the work...your massive and seemingly instantaneous success is what I judged you for, and you never even lived to see it.

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