Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 745, Message 5
- Joe--I definitely agree with you on books & short stories. The quote from Michael Medved was about "two great themes in *Hollywood movies*," though, and I'd say that genre hasn't produced a flood of "follow your brain" films. Maybe the Maltese Falcon (Gees--sounds like all I do is watch Humphrey Bogart movies!), some of Hitchcock's, and a few others. And I'll admit that in my post I _was_ trying to be a bit sarcastic about Hollywood.
Juliet--Well, maybe not, but I did cry when Jeremy Brett died. His portrayal was so close to Conan Doyle's character that I don't think it will ever be matched. Sherlock Holmes still lives in print (and in the minds of Baker Street Irregulars, where he will always be keeping bees in Sussex), but on the screen I don't think I'll ever see him again--just people pretending to be him. And that's a sad loss.
[Will be offline until Monday, November 26]
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2001 10:02 AM
Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Digest Number 745, Message 5
> Date: Tue, 20 Nov 2001 11:59:33 -0600
> From: Juliet Blosser <juliet@...>
>Subject: Re: Heart vs. duty (was Another Tolkien article)
>> I suppose "follow your brain" wouldn't make for many exciting movies.
And the suspense/horror genre would disappear if "follow your common sense"
prevailed. Calling the police makes the story too short. :)
>Detective/whodunnit stories seem like "follow your brain" stories to me,
>and I've found many of them exciting; however, they aren't usually
>emotionally moving. I'm a big fan of Sherlock Holmes, but he's never
>made me cry.
Back in the 1930s, there were many puzzle-plotted mysteries which (at their
worst) were dull, flawed crossword-equivalents and which (at their best)
used the puzzle framework to say something about psychology or sociology in
the modern world. The Ellery Queen novels, which I grew up reading, are a
good case in point. One of the cousins who wrote under that pseudonym
(Frederic Dannay) said once that some of their books were fun-and-games
(_There Was a Old Woman_ is a good example) and some were attempts at
meaningful comments (_The Glass Village_, which appeared during the
McCarthy era, is my favorite example). "Follow your brain" would be a good
term for Queen (the detective) as well as figures like Hercule Poirot (with
his praise of his "little grey cells"). My own position is that the purely
puzzle-plotted mystery (without other concerns) works best in the short
story form (John Dickson Carr is my example)--but obviously that is not the
financially viable form for most writers. The modern non-supernatural
Gothic-novel-for-[some]-women (that Anthony Boucher referred to as Gothica)
is related to the mystery, but it has a Had-I-But-Known plot--it contrasts
sharply with the "follow your brain" plot. I once read Victoria Holt's
_The Shifting Sands_ at the suggestion of an aunt of mine, and I complained
to my aunt later that the heroine never had a rational thought process in
the whole book--she was much concerned with "feeling" the atmosphere of the
region in which her sister had vanished. Maybe "follow your moods"?
(Technically, I suppose it is a "follow your heart" plot.) Anyway, I liked
the term "follow your brain". --Joe
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