My Self-Referential Year

My Self-Referential Year

I’m lowkey tempted to try a thing, but I’m also kind of nervous at the potential commitment.

Here’s the concept: For a whole year, I would only consume media that has been mentioned in the books, music, and movies that I have enjoyed during that year.

This idea came to me after I realized that I’d been adding a significant number of books to my “to read” pile after seeing them referenced in something else that I’d been reading or watching.

For example, let’s say that during this hypothetical year, I’ve managed to make my way to The Shawshank Redemption. In the film, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) reads Don Quixote to his fellow prisoners. Since that has now been directly referenced, I could read Don Quixote or watch any of its numerous film adaptations.

Eventually, I read Don Quixote. In it, de Cervantes references Homer’s The Odyssey, as well as a number of other works, so all of that gets added to the pile. And so on…

I’m not sure that I have it in me to be quite that focused — or if I’m ready to eschew new books, music, and movies — for anywhere near that long. But it’s still fun to consider making an attempt.