I am reading a short story but it is not making any sense.

Call me ‘old-fashioned’ but I think a story should make sense.

Maybe it’s because it’s told in a goulash of styles.

But the writer is an accomplished writer.

Does that mean I am not an accomplished reader?

Can a writer be over-confident, cocky? If so, can a reader?

Maybe it’s my mindset.

Maybe I should loosen up like good old George, slouch around in the ungrammatic, delve in the demotic, savour the stew

  • have you read any books or seen any films that made little sense? did you continue with them anyway?
  • what makes an accomplished reader?

17 thoughts on “Goulash

  1. I must admit, I’m prone to thinking it’s my fault if I don’t understand something. I don’t consider myself very good at coping with abstract art (in almost any form). But there’s part of me that thinks writing should be accessible. By making it too clever, you’re reducing your readership and thereby reducing your impact. Sometimes I read poems that sound pretty and I enjoy the words and images but have no idea what the actual meaning is. I think that’s okay in a poem or a song because they’re relatively short. But a whole story? I’m not sure I would persist if I was totally confused. Sometimes I finish a story/book and spend a long time pondering a bit I didn’t think made sense. That can be interesting. But I think I need to have a general comprehension of the whole plot.

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  2. If I buy a book I make it all the way through. If it is a library or gifted from a friend and I don’t like it I put it down. I guess then, my answer is that it depends on how much I have invested in it. If it’s written by a friend I might read it two or three times.
    I think an accomplished reader is one who can span between poetry or prose, across genres and styles, who gets enjoyment from a sonnet or a novel; flash fiction or true crime; haiku or cookbooks. Read everything then read it again.

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  3. I like that 🙂 the part about a library book is certainly true for me; if I borrow it and get bored early I put it down; but if I have invested money in it, I will read it:) I like what you say about an accomplished reader: I’ve never seen it put so succinctly before


  4. I agree a story should make sense. But I suppose literature is like anything, one story won’t appeal to anyone. Or maybe this writer is being sloppy and can do so now they’re accomplished. I found Catcher in the Rye beyond annoying because it had no point. It had no ending. It was well written and interesting except it never lead anywhere. You never found out what happened to the guy. It was just a random time in his life. Ugh. I wish I never read it. It was so unsatisfying and yet it’s a classic.

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  5. that would make an interesting post and if you don’t want to run with it, I would like to: ‘Annoying Classics’ or something like that. Funnily I enjoyed ‘Catcher’ : read it a few times and taught it a number of years in Senior School English. But we’re all different: one man’s meat … 🙂 And you’re right: maybe it wasn’t my cup of tea


  6. I didn’t enjoy Catcher in the Rye either, but it is all down to personal taste. When I was younger I was a voracious reader of almost anything. Now though, if something hasn’t grabbed my attention fairly quickly, I give up on it. Maybe that is hypocritical for a writer, but I think that the time we are given on this planet is too short to be wasted on voluntarily reading things which we don’t enjoy.

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  7. Well, the first time I read “The Sound and the Fury” it signified nothing…but later meaning grew, like the heat of a good gumbo. So, I keep going sometimes, if the writing is electric like poetry even when I can’t find the main thread, in hopes the good reader in my head is taking notes. 😃


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