I’ve often listened to a song on the radio and thought, “if it had different lyrics, this would be an awesome song”. Maybe it was the beat, or a particular line, or even guitar lick, but something caught my ear and those songs stuck with me even when I cringed at the lyrics.
The same thing happens with TV shows or movies. The premise catches my attention, or a particular character stands out, even when the acting or writing should have driven me away.
In both instances I’m left with an appreciation for said song/show/movie. Sometimes, if enough time passes, they become classics that I remember fondly or perhaps time taints my perspective with a rosy hue.
The question I ask you is; is there such thing as an after taste for all things literary?
I recently read The Great Gatsby. Not by choice, but as part of an assignment. I won’t lie to you and say I didn’t struggle through it. Now that’s not to say I think it should lose its place as a classic, all I’m saying is that for my taste, I found it slow.
The funny thing is, once I finished it, I kept thinking back to it. It was like an after taste, or as they say in the wine circles, it had a good finish. The more I thought about it, the more I liked it.
Was it particularly deep? No, not really.
Was it bursting its covers with action, sex and car chases? Nope… ok, there was a car chase and implications of sex but that’s about it.
It was a study of character. Of the foibles of being human and dealing with humans and I think what stayed with me was the narrator’s voice throughout. Now some say the narrator is unreliable in The Great Gatsby, but it think his voice was, quite often, the voice of reason, the voice of conscience. In fact Nick Carraway can be seen as Jay Gatsby’s Jimminy Cricket.
Gatsby’s voice was unreliable. Well, now that I think of it, I don’t think even he was overly unreliable. He never told the complete story, but I’m not convinced he ever lied, at least not to Nick.
That said, have you, dear readers, ever had a book or song that stuck with you, long after it was done? That struck a chord, so to speak? Something that didn’t appeal to you at first but with time developed into an “after-read glow”?