Nobel Laureate in Boredom

The good news is that the semester is almost over.  The bad news is that the closer to the end I get, the longer every minute lasts, the harder every task becomes.

Mo Yan looks as bored as I am.

Mo Yan looks as bored as I am.

After catching up on some much-needed sleep, tonight I chose to stay in and do homework.  I made what I had hoped was the responsible decision.  I was going be productive tonight.

At least that’s what I told myself.

The work that I enjoyed, or at least didn’t mind doing, was of course already finished; I do my best to keep my weekends as free from work as possible.  But of course, the only assignment that I had put off was the one that I hated: Mo Yan’s Garlic Ballads.

For the most part, I love school, especially now that I’m in college.  My peers, my professors, my campus, I love it.  I love reading for the most part, and I spend lots of my free time reading.

I don’t like, however, reading books that I don’t like.  I hate reading books that I hate.  I hate being forced to read (and eventually write essays on) books that I hate, especially when there are so many books that I’d love still out there waiting to be read.  However, my hatred for failing a required course overrides my hatred for being forced to read books that I hate.

Basically, there’s no shortage of hatred to go around right now, and most of it is being aimed at Mo Yan.

I got out the dreadful novel (dreadful, at least, through the 64 pages that I’ve read thus far), turned on my usual studying music, grabbed a highlighter and…


well, here I am.

It’s been at least three hours.  (Okay, if you measure it by the clock’s account, it’s only been 36 minutes.  But trust me, my gut tells me that I’ve been here forever.)

Yes, Mo Yan just won the Nobel Prize in Literature.  Yes, he is well-reviewed.  Yes, he does sell well.  No, his accomplishments do not make the book any more interesting.

On page 19 of his Garlic Ballads, Mo Yan’s character Jinju says, “People can endure anything.”  Jinju has evidence to back up her claim (at least through page 64); she’s overworked, verbally abused, physically abused, and (rightfully) very unhappy, and she’s endured it all.  But of the hardships that she’s endured, she never had to face the torture of reading Mo Yan.  If she had tried reading Mo Yan, she would have instead said, “People can endure almost anything.”

It’s now 1:50AM.  I only have 222 pages left.  (only?)  Maybe if I can get through page 65, getting through 286 will be easier.  Maybe?

Probably not.

I told myself I’d be productive tonight.  Depending on how you measure it, maybe I have been.