I’d Rather Be Listening

by Jan Notzon

JULY 2021

I find myself hesitant to expostulate on the novels I have written. The primary reason is that, whichever one is considered, I would rather the reader tell me what he thought it is about. I have a fear of prejudicing the reader to interpret it my way instead of h/her own.


I've always believed that there is a subconscious element forming the ideas and concerns that go into a story, and that the reader is frequently better able to discern those sub- or preconscious thoughts than the author.


Of course, I already know what I think the story is about, so it is much more interesting for me to hear what others think. I suppose that's because I've always been a listener rather than a talker.


This is why I simultaneously enjoy and find it supremely frustrating when I'm in a country and do not speak the language. Speaking two, English and Spanish, allows me a good deal of opportunity.


However, when I went to the country from which my father's family emigrated, Poland, I sorely wished I spoke the language. To be able to speak (and especially LISTEN) to others in their native language is a good part of the fun for me in traveling.


So, I hope those who have read my novels, my plays, my children's story will tell me what they think the ideas expressed are. I crave such feedback.


Meanwhile, I will do my best to talk about them without influencing the reader to think about them a certain way.


I think it will be quite a challenge.