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20779Re: [mythsoc] Congrats and phrasing

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  • Grace Monk
    Aug 16, 2009
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      You are not the only one, David. Certainly not. I see pictures in my
      brain; it is with effort that I ignore them or eradicate them. Even
      something as basically innocuous as the film of "The Deep End of the
      Ocean" means I see those actors now when I think of the book. I have
      now given myself permission to refuse to see films based on books I
      love. I saw Jackson's orc show, which I hated and continue to hate
      with the burning fury of a thousand white hot suns, out of a sense of
      intellectual necessity. (If I intend to argue something, I must know
      exactly what I'm arguing about.) But that's it. No Narnia for me, no
      Jane Austen, no future Hobbit projects, nothing that takes something I
      adored in a book and makes it into a film -- I am free to ignore them.

      Incidently, my whiplash experience was at about age 10, when I saw the
      Gene Wilder-starring version of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." I
      was enraged and thought that surely such hacksawing of a story HAD to
      be against the law. Sadly, it isn't. But come the revolution...

      Grace Monk

      On Sun, Aug 16, 2009 at 10:01 AM, David Bratman<dbratman@...> wrote:
      > Sue Bridgwater <suebridgwater@...> wrote:
      >>I will simply agree that of course turning to a book from a film
      >>or tv adaptation can often be the 'reading trigger'.
      > It can. It seems only fair to point out, however, that it can also be the
      > opposite.
      > As a child, I saw the films "Mary Poppins" and "Oliver!" Enthused by both, I
      > sought out the books by Travers and Dickens on which they were based. In
      > each case, the books were so different that I got a case of mental whiplash
      > so severe I've never gotten over it, and have never gotten to like either
      > author. I feel fortunate that I read Jane Austen, for instance, before the
      > 1990s rash of Austen adaptations, which give a quite misleading impression
      > of her tone.
      > Knowing my own likes and dislikes in fantasy, I can say confidently that if
      > I had never read "The Lord of the Rings" and went to see the Jackson films,
      > and was assured by credentialed Tolkien experts that they faithfully
      > captured the spirit of the book - a few Tolkien experts actually maintain
      > this untenable position, falsely claiming that they represent the consensus
      > of Tolkien scholarship which they emphatically do not - I would never have
      > bothered to read the book, because if the book were like the films it would
      > have no appeal to me. And the major literary experience of my life would
      > have been denied me.
      > Critics are free to claim that I am an utterly unique individual and this
      > scenario could never have happened to anybody else. But they don't know
      > that, and we never will know, because if there is anybody like me having
      > that experience, we'll never know it, because they aren't reading Tolkien.
      > And since the argument is on the same lines as the one actually postulated,
      > that I am the only person in the world who can't get a film out of my head
      > when re-reading the book it's based on, it's almost certainly as nonsensical
      > as that one was.
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