books, philobabble

The I’s Have It

Strangely, and in hindsight, serendipitously, it appears that most of the books I’ve been reading this year have been written in first person point of view. It’s a mixed bag of genres too: Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle, Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games trilogy, Miranda July’s No One Belongs Here More Than You, and I’m currently reading Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated (although this isn’t only in first person POV).

It’s “strange” in the way that I don’t really read first person POV. In fact, until this year, I would have said that I don’t even like reading first person POV. So yes, this is strange to me.

Writing online again, in this personal manner, is uncomfortable. I haven’t done this in years, and I’ve developed this fear that I’m wasting the time of whoever is reading this. I worry that it’s all mundane details and convoluted thoughts, and at the end of the day, I’m so afraid to just write.

Which is where this whole first person point of view issue falls in. Even though it’s fictional, it’s still getting into someone’s head, becoming acquainted with their thought processes– empathizing with them.

It’s shifting oneself into the skin of another, and understanding what it’s like to wear their burdens. In doing so, a contrast is created. A contrast that sharpens the lines and the divides, brightens up the wearer, the reader. Me.

In spending time reading their voices, I’m hearing my own more clearly. I’m learning to listen to myself more.

Although it’s unintended, it’s a fortunate accident– serendipity.

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