Here’s an open question for the day. What do you do when you’re trying to broaden your pop culture horizons by trying to read something deemed “classic” by anyone and everyone. This could be as intellectual as trying to read “Dante’s Inferno” or as commonplace as really trying to get into a Arrested Development, despite feeling like it’s just not really your “thing.”
I’m finding this happening more and more these days, mostly with books and TV shows, though sometimes with games and movies as well. Games are tricky because it’s incredibly hard to go back and play an old title you never experienced before with how far graphics and gameplay have advanced. Nostalgia taints our memories, and while I may be fine playing Goldeneye to this day, going back to try and get through KOTOR, a game I never played when it was new, is like trying to read paintings on a cave wall, it feels so primitive.
This is happening to be me in literature lately as well. I’ve devoured probably twenty well-known sci-fi books in the last year, but a few were brick walls I simply couldn’t overcome. One was William Gibson’s Neuromancer, sci-fi so hard I couldn’t understand most anything that was happening, though I knew I had to read it because of how much it influenced the genre, and really, modern technology in general. The same goes for Neal Stephenson’s Anathem, a book that’s supposed to be absolutely incredible, and by an author I love, but it’s practically like reading Greek to me, and I’m not sure how to get around it.
Eventually, after quitting Neuromancer once, I started again, reading far, far more slowly to not miss a single word, and I was able to understand it better. I’m trying to do the same by restarting Anathem, but it’s proving even more difficult.
What about you? What are some classic movies, shows, books, games that you just can’t get into, despite your best efforts. If you’ve quit some, then came back to finish them, was it worth it? How did you do it?