One of my favorite authors when I was in college (and still to this day) is John Barth. I enjoyed reading his works, The Floating Opera, The End of the Road, and Giles Goat Boy. I must be honest here, I’ve never finished Giles Goat Boy. I have attempted to complete it about 5 times but never have. I love the book, but for some reason, I can’t make it all the way through. It’s the only book I really wanted to finish that I haven’t. Someday!
In a 1985 interview in the Paris Review, interviewer George Plimpton asks Mr. Barth if he would ever make a compromise in one of his books to gain more readers.
I really enjoyed his response –
“I would, but I can’t. I start every new project saying, “This one’s going to be simple, this one’s going to be simple.” It never turns out to be. My imagination evidently delights in complexity for its own sake. Much of life, after all, and much of what we admire is essentially complex. For a temperament such as mine, the hardest job in the world—the most complicated task in the world—is to become simpler. There are writers whose gift is to make terribly complicated things simple. But I know my gift is the reverse: to take relatively simple things and complicate them to the point of madness. But there you are: one learns who one is, and it is at one’s peril that one attempts to become someone else.”