Sunday, April 4, 2010

Eat, Pray, Love.

As far as books go, I tend to gravitate toward those with intriguing characters. Non-fiction, fiction, either way, I've read both and that fact absolutely remains the same (Think Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, Pat Peoples in The Silver Linings Playbook, or Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein in All the President's Men). A couple summers ago, Elizabeth Gilbert published her autobiographical Eat, Pray, Love, which became quite literally an overnight phenomenon. I was hesitant to get on the bandwagon because I shy away from philosophical, life and self-analysis style literature. You'll never find me reading Chicken Soup for any kind of soul and the vast majority of poetry still escapes me a little (Aside from some T.S. Eliot, Tennyson, and more recently Mary Oliver). There's a fine line for me between "depth" and less concrete, spiritual self-pondering. Either way, it took me a couple months to cave and pick up Gilbert's book while at the beach. I could not be more thankful that I did. When Gilbert refers to herself as "the planet's most affectionate life-form, something like the cross between a golden retriever and a barnacle," I knew I'd found a good one. Though perhaps not that affectionate, a friend once said that I "haven't stopped laughing since 1997." This is pretty valid. Gilbert's path from her lonely apartment in New York through Italy, India, and Indonesia leaves her with a greater understanding of not only herself, but what it actually means to be happy. While reading, I was actually reminded of the line in Where the Wild Things Are, where Judith states that "Happiness isn't always the best way to be happy." Gilbert echoes this sentiment, not by underrating happiness in any way, but acknowledging that its so much more complex than that. The spectrum of emotions within that overarching category is pretty expansive; oversimplifying that concept is only doing yourself a major disservice. I recently began re-reading Eat, Pray, Love upon hearing the movie will be out in June, with Julia Roberts starring as Elizabeth Gilbert. The trailer had me sold with the Florence and the Machine song (Dog Days are Over) used to accompany the amazing cinematography, and I really hope they can convey the sincerity of Gilbert's writing on the big screen.

1 comment:

  1. I love this book. I don't care that it's bookclubby-- things get popular for good reason sometimes!