A few months ago I read Survivor by Chuck Palahniuk. I first time I read it was when I was a sophomore in high school. I liked it a lot and I continued to read more of his books. About a month ago I reread it, and I didn't like it. There were some aspects I enjoyed, but overall it wasn't very good.
It was strange to me. It didn't have the same weight with me as it did when I first read it. And I carried it in my head as my second favorite Palahniuk book. And now I didn't even feel comfortable suggesting it to someone. It was strange; I wasn't sure how to handle it. Mostly, I shrugged it off.
A few months before that, I rewatched Into the Wild. My first experience with that movie was in junior year of high school, when Chris Skinner showed it to the class. I liked it a lot and I went and bought the book as well. It was a good story and I used to lay in bed thinking about Chris McCandless and what he was like.
When I rewatched it, the movie just wasn't as important to me. I didn't feel for Chris anymore and somehow, since then, I lost that appreciation I had for the story. I'm not like the Alaskans; I don't think he's some sort of idiot. And it wasn't as if when I watched it I idolized him or thought he was some sort of super-Thoreau. I liked what he did and I liked the story. But the movie didn't do it for me. And I haven't gone to reread the book, but it half worries me of what'll happen if I do.
Last week I finished reading Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. I read this sometime in early high school as well and it was my second favorite Vonnegut book. I didn't quite remember what I liked about it, but as I read it I caught onto what it was. It was Kurt's philosophy. His stance on belief is spot on and he really does remain the most influential person on my philosophy. And I did appreciate that in Cat's Cradle. But when I read it, I enjoyed it a lot less. The characters felt more like vehicles for what he wanted to say, and less like they were their own person.
And it's not like that isn't what a lot of characters are. But as I grow older, I've gained a heighten appreciation for real characters, characters that aren't necessarily like me, but are believable. Kurt's characters in Cat's Cradle didn't carry that quality, and it hurt me to see that.
I love what he did with Bokononism, but that doesn't mean the characters have to be frigid to what he writes. Does that make sense?
When I was much younger than high school, around middle school, I read this manga series called Love Hina. I think it's called a 'shonen', and it's just a cute series about a loser who's trying to get into college. There's a lot of fan service in the series, but it wasn't what attracted me as a little boy (if you'll believe it). I loved the love story between Keitaro and Naru and I used to smile stupidly whenever a really intense scene happened. I liked the romance in it, I loved how hard it was for them to get together.
I've been rereading it again lately, and it's just the same thing. The romance doesn't hit me. The unrealistic situations are obvious to me. And somewhere in me, it hurts.
It's strange. It's an experience I was never expecting. And I'm not really sure how to handle it. I've been calling it my identity crisis, because I identify a lot with the things I like. But when I don't enjoy the things I like, it sort of ruins my image of myself.
Obviously, I'm more than the things I like. But the things I like are really important to me. And when they lose that value, it feels like I'm losing a part of myself.
I've been trying to make sense of it in my head. I just grow out of things, right? I develop a different perspective and the things I liked yesterday I don't like today. It's just peculiar. It's all so strange.
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