In line with January’s inescapable “New Year/New You” promotions, I ran across this article in the Times a little more than a week ago that would indicate that promise of a New You is not simply a marketing ploy. In fact, if anything, people tend to underestimate how much their interests and tastes will change over time. (mhttp://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/04/science/study-in-science-shows-end-of-history-illusion.html?hp&_r=1&
In an article titled “You Won’t Stay the Same” John Tierney writes “When we remember our past selves, they seem quite different. We know how much our personalities and tastes have changed over the years. But when we look ahead, somehow we expect ourselves to stay the same, a team of psychologists said Thursday, describing” what is referred to, somewhat apocalyptically, as the “end of history” phenomenon. But like our recent apocalypse-that-wasn’t, the actuality is not so dire. Regardless of our age, we (mistakenly) regard ourselves as finished products, fully-formed, unlikely to change.
This made me consider my own tastes, in food, in music, in parenting, in reading. I generally believe my tastes will be/have been fairly consistent, then I think back to some of the get-ups I sported in college, and I realize I am wrong. Very wrong. In addition, as a result of marrying into a family of foodies (my teetotaling wasp family regarded too much discussion of appetites unseemly) I have a better appreciation of gastronomy. I can now understand how the Pixies or the Throwing Muses, two of my erstwhile favorite bands, might not be the melodious crowd-pleasers I once found them to be. By virtue of having them, my notions about raising children have changed, and as a consequence of working in publishing, I no longer marvel at how folks might get around to reading contemporary writers when there is such a back-log of good, dead ones to get through. I actually had this thought in college.
How have your tastes, literary or otherwise changed?