Over at Dave Anaxagoras’ blog “Man Bytes Hollywood,” Dave posted an entry detailing why he’s a film fan and not a film buff. He says, “To me, “film buff” implied a broad affinity for film in general ”” a wide ranging appetite for celluloid, be it Hollywood blockbuster, experimental, silent or new wave. “Film buffs” seem to love it all, almost indiscriminately. I’m not indiscriminate. I like what I like.”
Later, he suspects a lot of studio execs pretend to have seen “important” films like “lit majors who pretend to have read Paradise Lost or Moby Dick.”
Dave’s more right than he knows. I can’t count the number of times I’ve admitted to not reading some “seminal” work, and then being looked at like I just admitted to molesting goats. Do I recognize that chicano/chicana literature or Puritan literature are important literary genres worthy of academic study? Yes I do. Do I feel the need to familiarize myself with those genres? Not in the least. Should I be ashamed of that? Judging by the looks I’ve received I would say some people think I should.
I have a hard time working with texts that I just don’t like. I guess that makes me a poor academic. Intellectually, I know that simply “liking” a text has no academic value, and I should possess the ability to shut that part of my brain off and judge the text on merits above my own sensibilities. But as a reader I just can’t ignore the fact that some texts simply bore the hell out of me.
This makes my brain hurt. I’m gonna go read a Spider-man comic.