Reading good writing

One of the things I missed the most from MFA school was reading good writing on a regular basis. Being impressed. I enjoy being impressed by things. I like the “whoa” factor. I went from enjoying the visceral thrill of the moment when Superman—yeah, let’s just go with a Superman movie anecdote—anyway, I went from enjoying the thrill of the moment in Superman II where he saves the kid falling into Niagara Falls, to enjoying the technical thrill of it, to enjoying the effect of the moment. When I worked at the video store, I saw some little kid watching it silent, waiting to see if Superman would save the kid. I’m talking late 1990s or early 2000s. Not the high point for appreciation of Superman II, especially not in the little kid category. But there it was, I got to see how this movie connected with me. But I’d just grown out of that appreciation of it into a different one, then into an even different one. Each time though, I’m impressed. Being impressed is a wonderful moment. And reading can be particularly impressive.

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