Recently, I started reading Aspects of the Novel by E.M. Forster. It sounds so cool to say that, like I’m a super responsible writer, investigating great commentary on my craft. Which is good, because it totally obfuscates the sad reality that I started reading that book because I’ve had trouble falling asleep lately. Nevertheless, I am very pleasantly surprised at how much fun I am having with it. I recall that I really enjoy the novel as an artistic form, that I have read a great deal of very heavy literature in order to understand the novel, and it is oh-so-much fun to read someone interesting and witty comment on that very heavy literature. Because despite the fact that E.M. Forster is a man, British, and dead, I still share a common experience with him. We have both read a specific set of books.
The cute husband is a tech nerd, and can talk endlessly (I mean it, someone has to make him stop) about the latest operating systems, cell phone carriers, internet providers, browsers, open share software, megabit storage, redundancy practices, and on and on. And honestly, I’m sure at least three of the subjects I just mentioned are fallacious in some way, and I have only scratched the surface of what he’s interested in. It confuses me, because while I love the cute husband with my whole heart, I cannot muster up a proportional amount of interest in those topics. Much like he cannot understand why I had to wake him up last night to read him this hilarious sentence where E.M. Forster said that Defoe’s characters are easier to analyze that Jane Austen’s, because Jane Austen’s are complicated by a plot.
It’s because we are both geeks, and we enjoy geeking out sometimes. We like to cull over topics that only a select group of people will understand. Not only are these topics particularly compelling for us at the outset, but it makes us feel special. Some people would think it’s funny that E.M. Forster said that Charles Dickens has no taste, but very few people would really appreciate why E.M. Forster thinks that, and how it’s different from how he thinks of Virginia Woolf or Sir Walter Scott. But I do understand. And so I will continue to revel in the witticisms of E.M. Forster, and because he loves me very much, the cute husband will nod and be glad that I’m happy.