Difficulty in a long novel

31/March/2023 in Tokyo

Feels like I want to celebrate today

for finally finished reading this extremely long 11th century novel, "The Tale of Genji"

Probably this was the longest novel I'd ever read

The problem of reading a long novel is;

Reading feels like an obligation

When it starts, there is an excitement & a sense of joy

But at some point, these feeling fades away

And I start to feel an obligation

"I have to continue it"
"I have to finish it"

But obviously doing things under an obligatory feeling is boring, barren, painful

Not to mention, reading a novel, even the one from the 11th century, is far from an obligation of anyone else in the 21st century

It seems the same goes to a person who writes a long novel
They seem losing a sense of focus & feel boredom too

The end of "The Tale of Genji" feels abrupt, unsatisfied, unfinished

Reminded me of the last scene of Mishima's long novel, "The Sea of Fertility", or Tanizaki's "The Makioka Sisters"

At the same time, feels like it's probably impossible to make an ending that satisfies readers who invest lots of time & energy for reading so far