I’m not particularly into high culture. While I don’t mind listening to classical music, you’re not that likely to find me at the concert hall that often. And as for opera, I’m not sure that we’ve ever had a particularly close relationship.
On the other hand, pop music and I definitely have a cordial relationship. Not all pop music of course. There’s plenty of stuff you hear on the radio (or whatever passes for the radio in this new twenty-first century world that I don’t particularly understand – see my post from last week) that I can definitely live without ever hearing again. But there’s plenty of music that sits well within the popular sphere that I really enjoy. It might not be using complicated musical language, but it talks to me in a way that more sophisticated music does not.
I’m like that with movies as well. I don’t have a clue about the details of movie-making. I couldn’t tell you if a scene was well-framed, or the cinematography or editing wasn’t as effective as it should have been. I couldn’t even analyse the details of a particular acting performance. I just want to see a good movie that gets me in, regardless of what the critics and other people who are so much more knowledgeable tell me to think. Sure I don’t want it to be terrible, but as long as it’s good enough for me, then I’m happy.
It’s the same with reading. While some of the books I’ve read and enjoyed might be classified as literature, I definitely don’t see my tastes as being highbrow. Give me a good story that’s well written and brings in some interesting ideas and I’ll be happy. I don’t need something that can be analysed to the nth degree, or gives me a headache if I try to understand it beyond a certain level.
I suppose that all of this has affected my writing as well. All the things I read and the things I watch (and even the things I listen to) have influenced the sorts of stories that I want to write. They don’t need to be super complex or highbrow. If my books never get onto a university reading list and never get pulled apart in tutorials, I won’t lose any sleep (though I suppose the royalties might be nice). I just want readers to enjoy them in the same way I enjoy the books that I like to read (and the movies I like to watch and the music I like to listen to).
Maybe some people might consider the things I like to be trash, but I don’t mind. Even if it’s trash, it’s actually rather good.
For an example of some of my trash that I think is rather good, you can download a free copy of my novella Doodling at http://www.jonathangouldwriter.com/doodling/.
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