Day 18 – Longest Read:
Today I had to choose Three Days Before the Shooting… by Ralph Ellison. This is Ellison’s second unfinished novel. It spans 1136 pages and looks to be intense and imposing on my bookshelf. Can’t wait to one day get
into it. I’m so curious about this masterpiece that was in the making. But first, I have to read Juneteenth. Three Days Before the Shooting… will give me all the details Ellison originally wrote. This would be a really interesting reading exercise that I hope won’t take me too long to get to, a long arduous exercise, but that could teach me a lot about novel-writing. The blurb on the top front cover: “Less a conventional novel than the prose equivalent of a jazz solo, or a series of solos…some of (Ellison’s) finest prose.” —–Malcolm Jones, Newsweek. This makes the novel even more intriguing….
“At his death in 1994, Ralph Ellison left behind several thousand pages of his unfinished second novel, which he had spent nearly four decades writing. Five years later, Random House published Juneteenth, drawn from the central narrative of Ellison’s epic work in progress. Three Days Before the Shooting . . . gathers in one volume all the parts of that planned opus, including three major sequences never before published. Set in the frame of a deathbed vigil, the story is a gripping multigenerational saga centered on the assassination of a controversial, race-baiting U.S. senator who’s being tended to by an elderly black jazz musician turned preacher. Presented in their unexpurgated, provisional state, the narrative sequences brim with humor and tension, composed in Ellison’s magical jazz-inspired prose style. Beyond its compelling narratives, Three Days Before the Shooting . . . is perhaps most notable for its extraordinary insight into the creative process of one of this country’s greatest writers, and an essential, fascinating piece of Ralph Ellison’s legacy.” (Three Days Before the Shooting…, back cover)
Would you be interested in reading something like this or would you find it too intimidating? I loved Invisible Man and the writing is masterful. My curiosity for Three Days Before the Shooting.. is so long that I’m sure he was driven to the height of passion with the subject, henceforth the 1136 pages. To be continued on that….. So what’s your longest read or wannabe longest read?