Essay 7: A Brief History of Giving Up, by Rosa Lyster

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Capitulation comes easily to me. I have no grit. I gave up piano lessons and ballet and yoga. I gave up on living in London. I ditched two different novels I tried to write. One was about some contemporary girls, and the other was about some girls of a previous generation. They were both about me. I gave up quitting smoking, as well as every attempt to cut a food group out of my diet. I gave up on flossing, as well as Infinite Jest, Moby Dick, and Midnight’s Children.All of Proust, Flaubert, Knuasgaard, Henry James, Murakami, Heller, Mailer, Naipaul, Lessing, DeLillo, Plath, Grass, and Atwood. Any book written for adults where a person turns green or into a mermaid. Any novel where a cat can talk. Any novel where a central character likes to read too much. Novels in which central characters have jobs which I consider to be unreasonable, such as hand models, undertakers, looking after whales, zookeepers in general, ghosts, huntsmen, woodsmen, salesmen, swordsmen, lion tamers, anything which seems too futuristic, astronauts, wizards, pornographers, lecturers in university departments invented in order to make a point about the current state of academia, inventors, clerks in subterranean government offices, and occupations invented in order to make a point about this terrible world. I gave up on them all.