I’ll start this article with an advice : learn to build your own opinions, be proud of them, and never ever feel obliged to have the same opinion as everyone. Be different, confident, and know that the majority isn’t always right.
I learned that while reading A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.
During summertime (which isn’t over yet, so let’s enjoy our last moments before going back to work – sorry to remind you, wasn’t the point I swear 😦 ), I decided to take the opportunity to expand my culture. I bought several books, you know that kind of classic novels from the XXth century or even elder, written by AMAZING and WORLD WIDE KNOWN authors that « YOU MUST ABSOLUTELY READ IF YOU DON’T WANT TO DIE A DIMWIT ! » (at least, that’s what they say…).
So, as I don’t want to die a dimwit – I am being a normal person so far – I added to my stack of books Hemingway’s book, which french title is Paris est une fête. Truth is, I am not sure I would have bought it if the french title hadn’t contained the name « Paris ». I think that is mostly why I bought it. But not only…
Let’s sum up. I read it because :
- I needed to feel cultured – and wanted to show off my knowledge by reading famous and intellectual books 😉
- The title seemed so attractive that I couldn’t contain my curiosity (as the love I have for this city – Paris – is… disproportionate).
- I FELT THE F***ING PRESSURE OF SOCIETY THAT DOESN’T ALLOW YOU TO HAVE YOUR OWN OPINION BECAUSE THIS IS A « MASTERPIECE » AND YOU CAN’T SAY THE CONTRARY. But here’s the truth, buddies : I didn’t like it.
Pffiiu. I said it. Done.
Yeaah, you read properly. I didn’t like this book. You know what ? I didn’t even finish it ! I actually think it was boring, and it didn’t fit my expectations. AT ALL.
Here’s the problem : Because people keep saying famous books like this one are « unavoidable, essential for the culture », it leaves no space for your OWN opinion. When I bought it, I didn’t even read the summary, as if, because everyone says it’s amazing, it automatically is, and you don’t have to worry if it will suit or not your tastes.
This book is a sort of autobiography, in which Hemingway tells every detail of his days spent in Paris with great and famous artists of his generation. And I realized that, because it is Hemingway, because everyone knows Hemingway, because everyone must read Hemingway, people suddenly think that knowing every detail of the author’s life is amazing. I mean, it feels like people could read his grocery list and find it amazing ! It makes no sense ! Especially when you know that if he was an unknown author, no one would think it’s interesting ! Right ?
Anyway, the purpose of this article isn’t to convince anyone to think like me, but to open your eyes like this book did to me, so you know how important it is to form your own opinion based on your true feelings and tastes – as long as it is constructive, of course. And know that it’s not because it’s a « classic », an « essential », a « must read », a « masterpiece », that you can’t not like it !
Be proud of your own opinions, and share them to the world !