Getting to Know You

I was thinking about effort vs. reward after a conversation with my wife. Someone had sent her a CD, and she listened to it once and decided she didn't care for it, even though it was the solo work of a singer she enjoyed in a previous band. Her point is that there's already so much entertainment out there that anything that doesn't immediately seem great isn't worth spending time on.

She has a point there. But then I started thinking about my own experiences, particularly with music. I would buy a CD and listen to it 4 or 5 times within a few days, and each song would successively become familiar and enjoyable to me, until I really felt a connection with the album. I felt like putting in the effort to know something helped me get more out of it in the end.

It's similar with works of literature. Many classics are pretty dry and boring until you study the history behind them and look at the literary tools that were used to construct them. And suddenly you discover new meaning, and reap the reward of putting some effort into consuming the media.

This is not to say that every creative work has merit, of course, but I think you're more likely to find the beauty in things when you take the time to get to know them better.

Am I totally wrong here? Maybe you just need to read the post a couple more times...


Jen said…
I don't think you're wrong, I just find that way difficult for me, personally. I don't feel like working for things to entertain me. I don't know why.

It's kind of the same with friends. There are so many great and wonderful people in the world but it's so exhausting for me to be social all the time, I'd rather be more selective and spend time with people who I click instantly with instead of people who are nice but i don't quite click with and i continue to struggle to find common ground. I feel that friendships should be easy. But maybe i'm just a lazy jerk-ha.
Anonymous said…
I totally agree with people learning more about the classics to really understand them! I especially believe that everyone should learn that a "nunnery" was a whore house and not a convent. It makes tons more sense why Ophelia was upset. And I always find it funny when people use it incorrectly.
Today's random literary fact: The Merry Wives of Windsor was written for Queen Elizabeth after she stated how much she cared for the Falstaff character in Henry V.

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