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Gladiator and truths

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  • Melinda Jane Harrison
    Hello: I just went and read the comments on Gladiator. As a writer of both non-fiction and fiction, I have to always ask myself questions concerning
    Message 1 of 1 , May 16, 2000
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      Hello:

      I just went and read the comments on Gladiator. As a writer of both
      non-fiction and fiction, I have to always ask myself questions concerning
      historical truths, etc. In all honesty, it's not
      historical truths that make a piece of fiction, it's what I like to call
      "emotional truths." The same happens in non-fiction to some degree. Carl
      Sagan could always write emotional truths better than anyone because he
      understood how to communicate with people.

      I know we are about to read McCullough, and she is absolutely brilliant,
      but any writer can overwhelm a reader with detail or historical truths.
      And already, I feel to a certain degree that she has fallen in love with
      her subjects so much that she forgets her audience. Fiction is about
      character and their conflicts, it's about finding some emotional truth that
      connects the character to their times, remaining true to it as the
      character faces confrontation and resolution. A wonderful historical
      writer who does this perfectly is Sheri Holman. Anyone here read The
      Stolen Tongue? Or The Dress Lodger?

      In closing, I think Ridley Scott's film was a great success in storytelling
      and also in film making. Some of those shots were stunning. You could
      certainly see his training as an artist. The landscapes, those rose petals
      in the arena. I don't think I will ever forget those red rose petals in
      the arena, and how they drifted through the air. Also, the character of
      Maximus was perfect. And that is what carries a film or a piece of
      fiction. Not perfect historical details.

      Jane
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