This morning my husband called me a Literary Prima Donna. Don’t mistake this for being book-savvy. That’s not how he meant it, and truly I’m just a dilettante.
No, he was referring the temperamental and petulant sense of the word. The conversation went like this:
ME. I’m not loving The Marriage Plot like I thought I would.
HIM. So stop reading it.
ME. (with a dramatic sigh) If only I could.
HIM. Ummm…I think you can.
ME. I can’t. It’s already mentioned on my blog. (I know you’re all waiting with baited-breath for my review.)
HIM. You’ve turned into a literary prima donna.
***This from a man who owns three different translations of The Aeneid—only one of which he’s read, btw.***
HIM. (pointing to a metallic orange paperback on the bedside table) And what’s this?
ME. (sheepishly) Lover Revealed…I treated myself to some vampire romance after slogging through after a few pages The Marriage Plot.
Okay, so I do sound a little petulant. But can I help it if I’m playing “find the verb” in a 55 word sentence on the second page of the novel?
At first, I thought the author sympathized with his protagonist’s struggle against her verbose and pedantic classmates, but after trudging through countless pages of literary name-dropping and turbid linguistic philosophy, I decided he just wanted to parade his own intelligence. (I said that in 40 words and had the decency to include a verb).
It did remind me fondly of my own befuddled adventure with PHI 437: Philosophy and Language. I sat in the back of the class with glassy eyes and scraped out an A by parroting back what the professor said without any true comprehension of my own…
To be fair, I’m only on page 50 of The Marriage Plot. I still have hope that this New York Times notable book will blossom into something wonderful. Perhaps those of you who’ve read it can offer encouragement.
In the mean time, a little paranormal romance never hurt anyone…