the trouble with fiction

is that it has to be based on fact.  But it’s not factual, so if it doesn’t go the way you want, or I want, then I get disappointed.  You can’t be disappointed with non-fiction, or can you?

Okay, you can.  Or I can.  I bought Daniel Levitin’s book The World in Six Songs to read on the trip to Israel and I can’t even finish it. I thought it was about song.  It’s so full of ego that it doesn’t leave much room for song.  What a disappointment.

So here my theory is wrong, but I’ll continue anyway, because it usually is the case that I am not so disappointed with non-fiction.

Except I was really unhappy with Seth Godin’s Tribes.  I had high expectations about that one because I like his blog and I have high regard for many people who like him.  It was one of those silly books like Who Stole My Cheese?  I think when I read these things, “Who stole my brain?”

or “Who stole my idea?”

or “Who stole my time?”

Thank G-d for the public library.  I love getting books out and not feeling guilty when I don’t finish them.  Disappointed, yes, but not guilty.

I figured I’d read Rashi’s Daughters and see what the fuss was.

Oh so disappointing.  Not about the raciness, although why demote everything so quickly?  But more about the use of Rashi and the Talmud.  I’m guessing the author spent a fair amount of time researching Medieval France.  But hardly any time researching Gemara.  If those girls spoke like that…If Rashi spoke like that…

I know there’s a Midrash about Moshe Rabbeinu being flabbergasted in the Beit Midrash of Rabbi Akiva, but I can’t imagine Rashi being as primitive as how he is pictured.  It’s just bad writing.

Again, though, I am happy that I got it out of the library, so I don’t feel such a loss. 

You know the maxim “write what you know”?

Maybe the opposite should be of reading.


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