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  •  ah (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Brecht, cfk

    i'm not sure if there's anything wrong with trying to go for the movie angle specifically

    i'm not sure if this author was doing so either. i remember feeling the same way when reading jk rowling's harry potter series. i actually thought alan rickman would be perfect as snape. and so it was. same with michael scott's series for young adults, the alchemyst series.  

    i just kept 'seeing' this book as something on TV, very well-acted and fun to watch. i remember even wondering who would play the characters.

    maybe it was because the plot was so neat and tidy. there's the beginning, the tension in the middle, and then the end. everything ends up in the right spot. i could predict what was going to happen.

    but fun reading, no doubt. i recommend this book to most but it would be torn into little teeny tiny bits and pieces by my bookgroup.

    •  I think we're both trying to get at the same thing (3+ / 0-)
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      cfk, shari, Gorette

      which is, what are the strengths and richnesses of "cinematic" writing, and what are its weaknesses and limitations?

      On the one hand, the fact that you "kept 'seeing' this book" is an achievement: it worked on your imagination to show you its world.

      On the other hand, reading books of this ilk, I sometimes feel that that's all they're aiming for, and that they're missing the vital energy of great creation. You read Moby Dick and it's sizzling with ambition and playfulness, it's practically bursting at the seams, overflowing with creation. It's only cinematic once you throw half of it out.

      Like you, I find some cinematic books "so neat and tidy", and predictable. They're too busy showing me a finely contrived picture; they never try to sweep me away, they never ask me to invest my own spirit and imagination in my reading.

      But a book can be cinematic and also deeper than that: Dickens, Balzac, Tolstoy, Eliot and Joyce each give us a rich visual and sensual realism, which also contains a beating heart with mystery, dreams that we guess at but are never fully spelled out.

      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

      by Brecht on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 02:02:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, not all writers can be Melville. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cfk, shari

        heh. But, yes, one yearns for more, always. And from contemporaries.

        "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

        by Gorette on Fri Oct 26, 2012 at 07:57:47 PM PDT

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        •  Not even Melville could be Melville often. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gorette, cfk

          Unlike his first successes, Moby Dick bombed atrociously, and he grew more bitter and less ambitious - well, perhaps less exuberantly playful - as a result. And then, about 70 years later, modenism started to catch up with him, and people said "hey, this is a great book".

          "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

          by Brecht on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 02:58:18 PM PDT

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          •  Wow. IF I'd written Moby Dick I'd be pretty (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brecht, cfk

            bitter if people hated it. Wouldn't that be horrible? Van Gogh-ish. Now I could have made a very bad joke about that.

            I don't know if he wrote it before or after that but I remember enjoying Bartleby the Scrivener.

            "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

            by Gorette on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 03:18:23 PM PDT

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            •  Feel free to make bad jokes, especially puns. (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              cfk, Gorette

              I do it so frequently that my best friend and I have an agreement that when either of us makes a joke, but it's not funny, they have to put their hand up to indicate that they made a joke.

              Bartleby the Scrivener has a certain magic. I am frequently tempted, when asked to do something simple by someone well-read, to reply "I would prefer not to".

              Billy Budd is a sad but very well-told tale, too.

              "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

              by Brecht on Mon Oct 29, 2012 at 04:06:55 PM PDT

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              •  Ah, yes, that quote. How could I have forgotten (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Brecht

                that? In many of the jobs I had after reading that I would have preferred to say that very often!

                I couldn't help but think of Melville and Moby Dick when I saw that ship the HMS Bounty which was going to sink. I know that whaling vessels were different, but same era, right? So sad to see a beautiful ship replicated and then it sinks, along with a young woman crew member and the captain. I just wanted to say that somewhere. I live alone and have no one to just chat with usually.

                Actually I love Vincent so much I hate jokes about his ear, and that's probably why I didn't make it.

                "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

                by Gorette on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 08:26:07 AM PDT

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                •  I did not know about the HMS Bounty, but I looked (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Gorette

                  up an article since you mentioned it. I have no TV, and it saves me from no end of trauma and depression. That was a sad tale - she sounded so happy in the weeks before the tragedy.

                  Vincent, too, such a tragedy. I like that line on Don McLean's American Pie album:

                  But I could have told you, Vincent,
                  This world was never meant for one
                  As beautiful as you.
                  Everyone cultured and sensitive feels sad for Vincent, for working so hard, making so many magnificent paintings, and selling just one in his lifetime. But we should admire his courage, too, the strength of his conviction. His paintings didn't sell, but he never stopped, he stayed true to his muse. Thank God, for us and posterity.

                  "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                  by Brecht on Tue Oct 30, 2012 at 05:13:53 PM PDT

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                  •  That's true, and he is a good inspiration for (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Brecht

                    writers as well as artists. Thanks so much for reminding me of those beautiful lyrics which I love, and the website, new to me. That catalogue of his works is unreal.

                    Don't know about you but I was very fortunate to visit his museum in Amsterdam years ago and it was overwhelming to me. At that time they had about 300 paintings and drawings so you could see the progression and how much work he accomplished in his short years, putting all he had into it. The blinding beauty of one of his paintings seen in person provokes awe. It's not really just beauty though, it's a spirit, comprehension of reality and vibrancy. They sing. As I'm sure you know, it's just nice to talk about my favorite painter (painting is another of my vices).

                    I used to have a great print of this in my home, but in person at the Musee D'Orsay it is incredibly alive, the colors much brighter. (Hey, do you think I use too many adjectives? heh. I seem to love superlatives but with Vincent they are inevitable.)

                    Fritillaries

                    True colors of that painting.

                    "extreme concentration of income is incompatible with real democracy.... the truth is that the whole nature of our society is at stake." Paul Krugman

                    by Gorette on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 09:34:08 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Adjectives are great. I try to use a wide variety. (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      Gorette

                      For instance, about 6% of the adjectives I use are "great". But I'm working on it.

                      I went to Amsterdam once. I enjoyed it, but I'd have had a wilder kind of fun if I hadn't been there with my dad. Still, we both loved the rijstaffel, and the Van Gogh museum was a revelation. The Rembrandts in the other big museum were pretty impressive. But Van Gogh is wonderful to immerse yourself in.

                      There are such energy and spirit shining out of Vincent's work. He enriched the world.

                      "Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth" Samuel Johnson

                      by Brecht on Wed Oct 31, 2012 at 05:59:38 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

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