I just finished You Shall Know Our Velocity and it’s the second of Dave Eggers‘ books I have read in which the narrator speaks from the grave. Ok the first time it was a dog and a short story, but this time the narrator himself. I was surprised you didn’t get to read about how he does die but it made for a weird feeling of expectation when reading the book.
I wondered if I’d read any other dead folks narratives and I remember just one (again a short) – in Julian Barnes ‘History of the World in 10.5 chapters‘. This time involving loads of cooked breakfast in bed.
The above are not the reasons I am writing. It’s something to share I reckon, to have finished a piece of fiction. For me at least.
In times when I am particularly stressed or anxious about something (usually work) I generally cannot read fiction. I struggle reading at all but factual stuff is by and large easier to read than anything creating a world of it’s own.
I spoke to some folks recently about this and they had their own stuff they couldn’t do when stressed. Theirs was reading anything, listening to BBC Radio “Particularly Radio 4 and Steve godawful Lamacq” and another was “I totally stop taking in the outside world. World shrinks to the room that I’m in..” Funny what stress can do to you right?
I get advised often enough to breathe very deeply and through my nose if possible. This helps a great deal to alleviate stress and anxiety. And it’s dead simple. Do it.
Then take a big deep breath and open up a book.