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RE: [mythsoc] Books and movies

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  • Elizabeth Apgar Triano
    How much Flashman have you read, Janet? I read a couple a few years ago and really loved them, then tried another more recently and couldn t get into it. I
    Message 1 of 8 , Jun 23, 2003
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      How much Flashman have you read, Janet? I read a couple a few years ago
      and really loved them, then tried another more recently and couldn't get
      into it. I think it is my own shortened attention span that is the
      culprit, but anyway I so seldom meet anyone else who has heard of him!

      And as a general question, can someone place this series and author in time
      for me? Thanks.

      Lizzie Triano
      lizziewriter@...
      amor vincit omnia
    • Jane Bigelow
      ... Lizzie, The series is set in Victorian England, supposedly drawn from a series of diaries that the author found . I sometimes wonder why I enjoy it so;
      Message 2 of 8 , Jun 23, 2003
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        At 06:45 PM 6/23/03 -0400, you wrote:
        > I read a couple a few years ago
        > and really loved them, then tried another more recently and couldn't get
        > I think it is my own shortened attention span that is the
        >
        >
        > And as a general question, can someone place this series and author in time
        > Thanks.
        >
        > Lizzie Triano
        > lizziewriter@...
        > amor vincit omnia

        Lizzie,

        The series is set in Victorian England, supposedly drawn from a series of
        diaries that the author "found". I sometimes wonder why I enjoy it so; I'd
        cross several streets to avoid someone like Flashman in real life. If you
        read several in a row you may well get tired of Flashy's perpetual
        caddishness, but taken as an occasional self-indulgence I think they're
        great fun. I read somewhere, long ago, that when the novels first started
        coming out some reviewers thought they were non-fiction. George MacDonald
        Fraser is a professional historian--his work on the Border Lairds, _The
        Steel Bonnets_, is well worth reading, both scholarly and entertaining.

        Fraser also had the class to do a book made up of two or three (I don't
        have it with me) short accounts of Flashman's adventures, rather than
        puffing each one up into an entire book. _Flashman and the Tiger_ is the
        last Flashman book that I know about; read it last, because this series
        definitely should be read in chronological order.

        Enjoy!

        Jane
      • Croft, Janet B
        The Flashman series begins during the time of Tom Brown s School Days (Flashman was a minor character in this book) which I believe was set in the 1820s-1830s.
        Message 3 of 8 , Jun 24, 2003
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          The Flashman series begins during the time of Tom Brown's School Days
          (Flashman was a minor character in this book) which I believe was set in the
          1820s-1830s. Evidence in another Fraser book, Mr. American, shows Flashman
          still alive, though quite old of course, on the eve of WWI. Yes, Flashy is a
          cad and a bounder, and like James Bond, reading too many in a row can leave
          you with a nasty taste in your mouth -- but it's fun while it lasts. Fraser
          has found an entertaining gimmick to incorporate his historical knowledge
          into his books -- the editorial footnote confirming or disagreeing with
          Flashman's version of events.

          Fraser also wrote a fascinating account of his experiences in Burma during
          WWII, Quartered Safe Out Here. And since the title of this thread is Books
          and Movies, I'll add that he wrote the scripts for The Three Musketeers and
          The Four Musketeers (the ones with Michael York and Raquel Welch), and also
          has written a book on history in the movies called The Hollywood History of
          the World: From One Million Years B.C. to Apocalypse Now.

          Janet

          -----Original Message-----
          From: Jane Bigelow [mailto:jbigelow@...]
          Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 10:50 PM
          To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Books and movies


          At 06:45 PM 6/23/03 -0400, you wrote:
          > I read a couple a few years ago
          > and really loved them, then tried another more recently and couldn't get
          > I think it is my own shortened attention span that is the
          >
          >
          > And as a general question, can someone place this series and author in
          time
          > Thanks.
          >
          > Lizzie Triano
          > lizziewriter@...
          > amor vincit omnia

          Lizzie,

          The series is set in Victorian England, supposedly drawn from a series of
          diaries that the author "found". I sometimes wonder why I enjoy it so; I'd
          cross several streets to avoid someone like Flashman in real life. If you
          read several in a row you may well get tired of Flashy's perpetual
          caddishness, but taken as an occasional self-indulgence I think they're
          great fun. I read somewhere, long ago, that when the novels first started
          coming out some reviewers thought they were non-fiction. George MacDonald
          Fraser is a professional historian--his work on the Border Lairds, _The
          Steel Bonnets_, is well worth reading, both scholarly and entertaining.

          Fraser also had the class to do a book made up of two or three (I don't
          have it with me) short accounts of Flashman's adventures, rather than
          puffing each one up into an entire book. _Flashman and the Tiger_ is the
          last Flashman book that I know about; read it last, because this series
          definitely should be read in chronological order.

          Enjoy!

          Jane


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        • dianejoy@earthlink.net
          I have this strange capacity to forget; I ve only seen one HP film, and all I can recall from it are a few instances, the wonderful train ride, and the table
          Message 4 of 8 , Jun 24, 2003
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            I have this strange capacity to forget; I've only seen one HP film, and
            all I can recall from it are a few instances, the wonderful train ride, and
            the table of food and the candles hanging in the air. If I thought about
            it, I'd recall some of the Quidditch match, but not vividly (there's so
            much to see there, and I have limited vision). It takes more than one
            viewing of a fim for me to have the images engraved. Seeing the first film
            does not affect how I read HP V.

            I think the problem is worse for LOTR, but even there, I still retain some
            of my own imagery. Maybe it's because I imagine events slightly
            differently each time I read JRRT. I do know that I imagine Middle Earth
            in a specific way, because when I first saw Ted Naismith's drawings, I
            gasped---because they looked so close to how I imagined those scenes. Does
            that make sense? It's really difficult to describe this process of
            imagining! ---djb

            Original Message:
            -----------------
            From: Croft, Janet B jbcroft@...
            Date: Mon, 23 Jun 2003 11:13:48 -0500
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Books and movies


            While reading the new Harry Potter book, I do find myself seeing some visual
            images from the films, but not hearing the voices of the actors. The visual
            images aren't as bothersome to me as the whole image-plus-voice-plus-action
            would be -- in other words, just seeing the picture of Maggie Smith as
            Minerva McGonagall in my mind when first encountering her in the book is not
            as bothersome as imagining the actress actually delivering the lines would
            be. On the other hand, frequently the image I find appearing in my head is
            the one from Mary Grand-Pre's illustrations instead, which may in a way
            capture the essence of the characters depicted better than a live actor can.

            Janet Croft

            -----Original Message-----
            From: David S. Bratman [mailto:dbratman@...]
            Sent: Monday, June 23, 2003 11:02 AM
            To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [mythsoc] Books and movies


            In the various discussions of Peter Jackson's films, people keep saying I'm
            weird or even unique in finding that the films infect my mental images when
            I return to the book. But I believe that being strongly affected by
            striking dramatizations is the common experience of humankind.

            So I was interested to read this testimony - nothing to do with Tolkien -
            in a review of Harry Potter V. The reviewer, Polly Shuman, is wondering
            why she's feeling disappointed by the book. It's not length alone, because
            she liked HP IV. She writes,

            >The problem, in part, lies with the movies. Do you agree? For me, it's hard

            >to read the books now without hearing those awful child actors flub the
            >lines. And even though the films were full of actors I love (Robbie
            Coltrane
            >as Hagrid, Maggie Smith as Professor McGonagall), I resent having their
            >faces superimposed on the characters I'd imagined. Even Rowling's witty
            >touches--the talking portraits, the touchy ghosts, the Floo transportation
            >system, the Every Flavor Beans--seem almost stale now, as if her
            sensibility
            >has entered the mass mind and started to fade into cliche.

            Of course, she's discussing a new book, not a re-reading; and even implies
            that the movies have affected the author more than the reader. But I think
            the point is still valid: a big-budget film of a story strongly affects the
            way that story, and those characters, are seen.

            The review (first installment in a dialogue intended to last the week) is
            at http://slate.msn.com/id/2084660/entry/2084710/
            <http://slate.msn.com/id/2084660/entry/2084710/>

            By the way, I recently attended a performance of the Lord of the Rings
            Symphony by Johan de Meij, essentially a set of character studies, written
            15 years ago, long before the current films were thought of. It was a pops
            concert, and each movement was preceded by an actor who'd explain the
            content, in character as the person depicted. I found it interesting that
            Gollum, in particular, was the Gollum of the film and not of the book.
            (The actor quoted extensively from Gollum's film lines, not from the book.)
            The film has hijacked de Meij's symphony, which has nothing in common with
            it except the book.

            - David Bratman




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