The Savage Detectives, Barn Burning, and Gotham

I’m behind in The Savage Detectives, a novel by Roberto Bolaño that I’m supposed to be reading for my English 300 class. The book is confusing to me and I’m not finding it to be a super enjoyable novel, either. Sometimes just being told to read something hinders it for me, but I’m not sure if that’s the reason or if I just don’t like the book. I definitely don’t have a good connection with any of the characters. Sure, they are the creative writing types, but that’s the only thing we seem to have in common. I feel like if I were to meet any of the fictitious “Visceral Realists” in real life, we wouldn’t get along very well.

Also, I met with my advisor about the sexuality identity class that’s not going my way. It turns out that I can drop it, which is excellent news, but when I got back home my good mood was ruined because I suddenly realized that I left a Jimmy John’s sandwich on the bus. All I could envision was my Italian Night Club with hot peppers and a bag of barbecue potato chips riding around in circles on 4th street here in Louisville. I curled into a ball, cried, and watched Gotham before work.

Gotham was a pleasant surprise. Jada Pinkett-Smith is wonderful in it, and the rest of the cast isn’t half bad, either. Robin Lord Taylor as Cobblepot (aka Penguin) is also keeping me interested. It’s a villain heavy show, which is a good thing because the villains are what make Batman interesting. I guess that’s true with any comic book, though. My only complaint about the show is the speed in which they seem to be trying to turn Bruce Wayne into Batman. Like, stop it. He’s 10 years old.

I also managed to get in one more story from The Norton Introduction to Literature, “Barn Burning”, by William Faulkner. The major theme from this story, family loyalty vs loyalty to the law, was a surprisingly welcomed departure from the themes I have been reading about all semester in my English 300 class. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for literature that deals with themes of civil rights issues, but I’ve read so much of that type of story lately that it was nice to just read about white people and arson for a change. Did I say that out loud?

I’m spending the remainder of my day today at home, still trying to recover completely from not-Ebola. After my sniffles are over, I need to continue my quest to find a second source of income. I’m sure I’ll blog about how that goes, too.

By Eric Shay Howard

Eric Shay Howard lives in Indianapolis. He's a teacher, a literary editor, and writer. He's a graduate student in the Bluegrass Writers Studio MFA in Creative Writing program at Eastern Kentucky University. He also has MBA and BA degrees.

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