My book reviews are not intended to argue how many dazzling stars out of five a book deserves, nor to explicitly break them down into their constituent parts: plot, character, style, et cetera. Rating systems, I find when it comes to art and literature, can never properly account for the dynamic nature of a text. The way we perceive and come to terms with a text is always changing. The time we live in I think informs how we read a book and what we want to take away from it.
As an English Major, I am trained to disclose the “meaning” of a book. That doesn’t suppose, however, that my reviews are an exercise in extrapolating symbols and metaphors for some estranged argument. I sympathize with the confusion towards the blue drapes having to symbolize sadness and towards the overall purpose of making this claim.
I don’t intend to excavate “universal truths” from the books I read. But I also don’t want to dissect, eviscerate, and mutilate texts with “theory” or “philosophy.” Texts can speak on their own without an awkward translation into theoretical jargon.
If anything, a book of theory and another text should be read together, illuminating each other, uncovering something hidden between the two.
I enjoy—more than anything—putting books into conversation with each other, making connections with the books I am reading, the life I’m living, and the World unfolding ahead of me.