On Monday I went to the bookstore and bought a copy of Invisible Man.
That was six days ago.
Have I started our twenty-fifth novel yet?
At the end of the day when the house was quiet and I should have been reading, I spent time knitting, folding laundry, and blankly staring at the tv.
A few nights this week I even grabbed my book and journal and put them next to me on the couch, but not once did I crack the cover. Okay, so I cracked the cover enough to see that this novel is 608 pages!
I’m weary of forcing myself through novels I don’t like; novels I’d never choose to read on my own. When was the last time I read a WEM book that I enjoyed? When was the last time I said to myself, “Oh, I want read that one again!”
It’s been a long time.
A Classic Case of Madness borrowed its tagline from Don Quixote: “the lack of sleep and the excess of reading withered his brain, and he went mad.” My brain is feeling rather withered. If this is a marathon, I’m the racer that needs a cup of Gatorade and some serious encouraging in order to finish.
But! DIY Master’s degrees don’t come easily, and today is the day I shall give up my whining ways and resume my study of the classics. 608 pages? That’s nothing. How long was Anna Karenina? I’ve had twenty-four novels-worth of training to prep me for this journey.
According to the back of my Vintage International copy, Invisible Man “is one of those rare novels that have changed the shape of American literature.”
“For not only does Ralph Ellison’s nightmare journey across the racial divide tell unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators, it gives us an entirely new model of what a novel can be.”
Let’s find out exactly what this new novel model is and why some have chosen to ban it from schools. Grab your copy of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man. Start reading it today.