The Literary Blog Hop,hosted by The Blue Bookcase is back and I'm very glad. Its a great way to meet fellow bloggers who are interested in literary fiction. This weeks question is:
Must all literary writing be difficult? Can you think of examples of literary writing that was not difficult?
I don't think any writer sets out to write a book that is difficult to read. If they do, they shouldn't. I think the difficulty arises mainly due to archaic language, cultural differences and sometimes just complicated story lines. But all of this is highly subjective. Shakespeare's language takes some getting used to but his most enduring works are also his simplest which is why they lend themselves so well to adaptations and reinterpretations. Pearl S. Buck's characters and their choices may seem inexplicable and confounding to a modern reader but placed in their cultural context, they make perfect sense and are not difficult to understand at all.
The only difficulty that really slows me down is an overabundance of characters and multiple story-lines that one has to keep track of. However, if the story at the core is one that resonates with me and is engagingly told, I would never resent the effort I put into reading it.
I think works of Louisa May Alcott, Arthur Conan Doyle and more recently Jhumpa Lahiri and Alexander McCall Smith are all engaging and definitely not difficult to read.