Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Literary Inspiration

For those that know me, you've heard me talk incessantly (not that this is rare) about the book, "The Shack." Most books I fall in love with, I fall in love with more for the writing than for the story. Example, "The Great Gatsby". The Great Gatsby is without a doubt my favorite book of all time. Yet, I really could do without the story. Sure, there's the whole "American Dream" thing that's nice to read about, but in reality, the story is lacking. The Great Gatsby remains my favorite book, however, because of the writing. I get chills just thinking about the writing in that book. The way F. Scott Fitzgerald can make a moment stand out is unlike any other author I have ever read. I will never forget that "men and girls came and went like moths, among the whispering and the champagne and the stars." The plot itself is relatively irrelevant; people come and go from parties all the time. And that is what I believe makes the mark of a good writer - the ability to make the ordinary seem extraordinary, the mundane, magical.

I am currently on my second reading of "The Shack." It will still go down as a book that changed my life, but I find neither the plot nor the writing remarkable. "The Shack" is a book that speaks volumes, but in the most simple and peaceful way. When a book is able to have a physical effect on someone, it transcends the category of literature and ventures into the world of therapy. In my second reading of the "The Shack," I am less concerned with the plot and in turn am able to resign to the peace that this book brings. While I am normally a lover of literature for the sake of the writing, this book has proven to me that some literature serves a greater purpose.

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