I am struggling with fiction and pretension

The fourth wall is down, long live Bukowski.

Adesh Fr
4 min readNov 6, 2023

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Photo by Erika Fletcher on Unsplash

The last movie I completed was Hell or High Water. It was last month. I didn’t finish it in a single sitting with an undivided flow, however. It was like a long flight — I constantly checked the time to see when it would end. Not that it wasn’t fun. I was restless. And the bonus was that I thought it was new. I thought watching something new would rekindle my love for movies. Turns out it was a 2016 movie.

Before that I watched Glass Onion. The experience was similar — but a little funny.

The last novel I completed was Chuck Palahniuk’s Invisible Monsters. I loved the work as I anticipated being blown away at the end. And I was. But at the end of it all, I can’t tell you for sure what I enjoyed more — the story or the idea that I finished it.

After that I brought two Chuck Palahniuk book home from the library: one was a short story collection and the other a nonfiction named Consider This (advice to writers). With the collection, I enjoyed the number of stories I finished before I returned the book without completing it. I wanted more of the nonfiction.

And now I am reading Haruki Murakami’s Killing Commendatore. I have renewed it three times and have completed 67.64 % of the book. I care about that number because whenever I have thought about the book I have become more excited at the idea of finishing it than about the characters and plot.

In this period, I have completed Neil Gaiman’s graphic novels, Poochytown (if it can be called fiction), A Portrait of the Artist as A Young Man, and Black Hole. I have also watched clips of comedic Hindi shows and movies. And that’s it.

It’s not that I have licked nonfiction like a delicious mango — wishing it never finished. I haven’t even opened half of the books I borrowed or bought. For example, this book about Honda lying on my desk here. And I have completed none of the nonfiction books or videos I have started. But the idea of sitting through nonfiction doesn’t make me as anxious as say, starting a TV series.

And I almost finish most articles I read or short videos I watch. That’s not the case with most short stories I read or short movies I watch.

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