Gravity's Rainbowand Harry Potter at the same time. Yep, Pynchon and Rowling — hanging out, one on top of the other on my coffee table. Isn't that just silly? I mean, I understand that the literary mash-ups are all the rage these days, but this combo is absurd, even by the standards of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.
And you know what? Harry Potter's kind of entertaining. And so here is one of the great ironies of my literary career: I like the kids book, but I'm absolutely despising the novel I should be loving. Gravity's Rainbow is the novel that brought postmodern literature from the fringes to the mainstream, and was a huge influence on my favorite writer of all time, David Foster Wallace. But I'm now into my fourth month with this ridiculous train wreck of a book, and I hate it. I really do. It's worse than homework. But I'm committed to finish. I can't not finish a book — especially one I've put so much time into, and the one book I declared to be my ultimate to-be-read. I cannot freakin' wait to throw it on my shelf, tell people I finished it, and never have to open its pages again.
But back to "the boy who lived." For years, I've been promising my girlfriend that I'd give Mr. Potter a try, but why now? I'm not sure, except that I think maybe some part of my literary subconscious thought it'd be funny to play a joke on me; sort of payback for forcing it to ingest pages of Pynchon's non-sensical prose. And so last week while I was laying around watching baseball, I found myself wandering over to the bookshelf, grabbing The Sorcerer's Stone, and settling in. But the joke's back on you, stupid literary subconscious, because I'm not kidding at all — I like it! Maybe I wouldn't if I didn't need it as a Pynchon-balancer, but with a straight face and a clear conscience, I can tell you that I'm enjoying it.
I haven't yet decided whether to continue with the Harry Potter series after the first one (The Sorcerer's Stone), but maybe. Maybe I'll start Ulysses and the second Harry Potter (The Chamber of Secrets) at the same time, just to pull off another goofy literary stunt.
You ever done anything so literarily absurd? Anyone out there want to make a case that I should continue on with the Harry Potter books?