I’ve read some reviews that I wrote a few months ago and although I remember writing them and remembering feeling satisfied with the final texts, I now find them weird or off and too absent. Sometimes when I want to post a review that I wrote a few weeks ago, I have to rewrite it just because it doesn’t look good to me anymore, even though it did back then.
I wonder if authors write their books this way. Does this mean that if you never publish your book, but keep changing it to how you feel at a given point in time, the book will grow like a plant throughout your life without ever assuming a solidified form? In fact, I once heard a writer say that he would have changed part of his book (the one I didn’t like either) if he had written the book these days. Then what would happen to Lolita, for example? Would Lolita even happen?
I definitely have a feeling that some modern books have not grown properly or fully. They were ripped from their designs too soon to be put on shelves and sold right away.
I’m sure a similar change in perception will happen to readers as well. You read a book and enjoy it. You still think you love the book so you open it later to relive all the emotion, but there are only shells left while the essence is gone. The book itself hasn’t changed! And yet it feels very different.
Perhaps there is never just one book, but rather the perception of an author, which at a certain point in time is crossed with the perception of a reader. Ten different people read ten different books even though the books would have the same author and title. And then they’ll read ten more books on the same pages when they open the book later.
Did you notice it too?