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Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Genre Fatigue

So far, the only downside I've detected to having an unbridled passion for literature, music, and film is something I've recently begun calling genre fatigue. Though it happens infrequently, when it does, it's important to recognize. I have no wish to become reflexively critical. See if you can relate.

At present, with respect to literature, genre fatigue seems to have set in for me vis a vis family novels. The last several I've read - all worthy of any discerning reader's time - haven't moved me at all. Each had excellent prose, interesting characters, a strong narrative line. But the prospect of reading another family novel anytime soon is not thrilling me. And I thrive on those anticipatory thrills. Anything like this ever happen to any of you bookworms, music fans, film buffs?

I'm not ready to declare a moratorium on family novels, as I have with non-fiction books attempting to explain the allure of music, memoirs, and historical novels, especially when the latter has "wife" in its title. But for now - unless a really persuasive reader or a member of my reading posse lobbies me heavily - family novels have been demoted in my re-prioritized queue. Additionally, I've resolved to begin using a newly-developed taxonomy to help me prioritize my choices for all my passions:

* Am I excited - at least right now - about reading this book, listening to that music, seeing this film?

* If I'm not excited, does the book, music, or film, at minimum, strike me as being OK in a pinch? After all, sometimes a library drive-by can be a viable option. But if I'm too tired to read and a barren night at home stretches out before me, listening to a few overplayed classic rock songs or watching an OK movie beats going to bed too early. I'll draw the line, however, at listening to doo-wop or enduring another whiny music documentary. Even Elton John's most formulaic pop confections or a Michael Bay blockbuster are preferable to either of those. Which brings me to the bottom of the taxonomy.

* That book, that music, that film? Not on your life!

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