Every September Mantua hosts a festivaletteratura – a literature festival.
The festival consists of hundreds of events, mostly talks or interviews with writers, many of whom are novelists.
I am an avid festival-goer. Once upon a time I used to read some of the books of the writers I went to see. But in recent years I’ve been less conscientious. In fact, I find myself reading less fiction and more non-fiction (blogs included) as I get older. This has something to do with feeling that I don’t know anything, and a desire to be less ignorant.
Also, I sometimes find fiction very disappointing. Once upon a time I didn’t mind reading mediocre literature. I knew that when I finished a less than gripping novel, I would have the pleasure of analysing why I didn’t like it and picking the book to pieces.
But these days I can’t be bothered with that approach.
I like that the word novel has a double meaning – (1) something new and (2) a fictitious prose tale of considerable length (thank you Oxford dictionary). However, when I read a novel these days, it’s usually something I’ve already read and liked, so the reading experience is hardly novel.
But the funny thing is, when I re-read a book, I often find that I’ve forgotten interesting sub-plots and even sometimes the ending (!) so there is a certain novelty value in that.
As much as I enjoyed this year’s literature festival, which finished on Sunday, it didn’t inspire me to change my reading habits. Not in the short-term anyway.
Here are some images from my iPhone of the past few days.
I endured the heat and humidity (Mantua is so humid! I don’t think I will ever acclimatize) and went to 5 events this year, all of which were stimulating. I’ll be blogging about them over the next few days /weeks. (Yes, that’s right: I shall be blogging about writers whose books I’ve never read and have no immediate intention of reading!)
Long live books!