I'm not a big fan of general ignorance. It leads to idiocy (often political)... but when there is a surprise to be had... I don't wanna know. I LOVE surprises... and what's MORE, I know myself well enough to know that nine times out of ten, I enjoy the anticipation of the surprise better than the surprise itself. (yeah, okay—THAT is probably just me—I can be a little tricky to satisfy).
Over time, I've learned this makes me a little freaky. I don't know if some people just can't stand not knowing? It confuses me. I mean it's not like life's OTHER up-in-the-air ambiguities (I HATE those and almost care more about having things SET than having them go the way I WANT). But a surprise, by definition, is nice. You are getting something, and chances are, it won't be a sharp stick in the eye. What's the rush? Why on earth is it so important to know whether you are getting a sweater or a necklace?
NOT anticipating also keeps me from being disappointed if I sort of hope it's something REALLY special, then it's not. Being out of the habit lets me just always enjoy it... well, unless it's something I don't like.
I know some people who open a book and read the last page. This is a species of being to which I obviously not only don't belong, but will never understand. Are there any of you freaks out there? What is the appeal of this? Why the heck would you want to already know the ending? What pulls you through a book, if not the quest to find out?
Oh, there are a few books I've read more than one (but not many)--they really have to be carefully put together for me to REALLY enjoy them multiple times—at least for reads that are temporally close. On THIS, I know there are many who feel differently—they are probably people who read faster than me... my own reading list is just too long and there is not enough time, so the only books that make it with some regularly, are the Harry Potter books, and that is because I always notice some little cleverness I missed on the last 7 rounds.
Several years ago, when I was desperately trying to convince my then 5th grade daughter that it was still cool to read with mom, I took a recommendation from a book store for 'His Dark Materials'. And the story is really pretty great, I love it, but MAN, was that hard to read out loud! Lyra talks like a freak! I know it was in an attempt to show that her world had some subtle differences from ours (the freak talk and the personal demons, primarily), and I suppose as a technique for that, it worked pretty well, but I think Pullman overshot.
Alternately, in 'The Clockwork Orange', where the punks use their cutsie little rhyming whyming technique while they beat up old people, you are drawn into a world that is just too horrible to imagine. The idiom increases the horror of it, because it illustrates that to these guys, this is all just play.
Idiom can be illustrative of real world differences too. Done well, it can make dialog illuminate race, poverty, region, nationality. But it is such a tricky thing to do adequately to get the point across, without making the language too hard to follow. I love the book Huckleberry Finn, but the first time I read it, at sixteen, following Jim's speech patterns was very difficult. Had it not been for my divine English teacher, Sylvia James, I might not have had the patience (she helped me with Shakespeare too—for whom language wasn't so much idiom, as old and poetic, and so unfamiliar to my sixteen year old ears)
I am in process on a trilogy which has half a dozen Romanian characters in addition to my American ones. Some of them have been in America for a long time, so I have just thrown in a word now and again, but a few are just here for the first time (or speaking English THERE to characters who go there). It is a tricky thing and I have no clue if I am drawing the line right on how much to tweak language. I want to get it across, without being cumbersome. (Never mind the cases where the characters are actually speaking Romanian to each other but I am putting it in English, because I want people to be able to read the darned books).
I have two friends I will ask to be first readers, one who lived in Romania, another who is Romanian but lives in the states. I hope that will be adequate, but I would love to hear what any of you have done to deal with tricksey idiom...
Impressive... erm... okay, just impressive...