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Literature, Myth, Religion

On Escapism, Fantasy & Myth

January 25, 2012

As with any muse or love affair, the escapist is in danger of abusing escapism.  One thing is certain:  Escapism is a wild hirsute faerie, and it is up to the practitioner to tame it – because, unchecked, it will run amok and devour the innocent fauna that graze the mental fields of your daily life.

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Fiction, Literature

The bird that flew no less, no more

December 12, 2011

When my brother brought home a tiny pigeon and said that he was going to be our new pet; that we’d give him flight lessons; turn him into the most powerful bird on earth; and then, when he became a giant and benign flying monster, he’d take us away into the Sun, I believed him. Continue Reading…

Literature

J.D. Salinger dies of natural causes at 91

November 10, 2010

From the Associated Press:

The novel’s sales are astonishing — more than 60 million copies worldwide — and its impact incalculable. Decades after publication, the book remains a defining expression of that most American of dreams — to never grow up.Salinger was writing for adults, but teenagers from all over identified with the novel’s themes of alienation, innocence and fantasy, not to mention the luck of having the last word. “Catcher [in the Rye]” presents the world as an ever-so-unfair struggle between the goodness of young people and the corruption of elders, a message that only intensified with the oncoming generation gap.

The article also contains a curious anecdote:

In 1999, New Hampshire neighbor Jerry Burt said the author had told him years earlier that he had written at least 15 unpublished books kept locked in a safe at his home.”I love to write and I assure you I write regularly,” Salinger said in a brief interview with the Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate in 1980. “But I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it.”

Let’s hope and pray these shoeboxed gems get published.  While Catcher in the Rye was paradigm shifting, it was Franny and Zooey that irrefragably convinced me of his unparalleled genius.  His works were decades ahead of their time.

Film Commentary, Literature

The Dark Tower gets a pinkish hue (hopefully not too pink)

September 9, 2010

Adam Quigley of SlashFilm.com with some unsettling news:

A movie version of Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series has been in the works for a few years now, and for most of that time, it was expected that J.J. Abrams would be directing. Those plans fell through though, and the rights to the project were handed off to Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Akiva Goldsman.
Say what?  Opie is going to direct the film adaptation of Stephen King’s grand opus, seven-book The Dark Tower series?  What happened to J.J. Abrams’ involvement?
[Reality check, folks:  Lost as a series in of itself is essentially a six-season homage amalgamating Stephen King’s best storytelling motifs (beginning with King’s The Langoliers)].
Abrams, why hath thou forsaken us?
The last film Opie directed that catered to a bleaker style was The Missing (2003), and I actually respected Howard’s malleability of approach and subject matter here.  It was a decided shift in tone for the director as a whole.  He is somewhat of a chameleon, after all, considering the sweeping diapason of themes he’s tackled in the macrocosm of his filmography thus far.
I’m actually more excited to see what comes of the TV series mentioned in Quigley’s coverage that is planned to follow the debut feature film.  Smart move, considering the almost uncontainable breath of material King has crafted since the master storyteller wrote and published The Gunslinger in 1982.
Film Commentary, Literature

Rufus Wilmot Griswold

August 30, 2010

Portrait engraving of an 18th century dick.

Anthologist, critic, poet, editor and the very asshole that tried to ruin Edgar Allan Poe’s reputation for eight years since he published a cyclopean obituary (under the pseudonym, “Ludwig”) suffused with falsified accounts of Poe as an evil, unscrupulous and depraved lunatic.

The good news is that, following his death on August 27, 1857, Griswold’s smear campaign was discredited as a fantastic collection of forgeries.

Even his surname begs the acrid aura of “super villain,” doesn’t it?  Comic book stink lines rise from his grave as we speak.

Good riddance.

Now, onto more relatively good news from SlashFilm.com:

The info comes from a tweet by Cusack, which said ‘official — will play edgar allan poe in fall-a-film called the raven, send any poe- gold – my way as i begin this journey into the abyss’ […]

The Raven is a fictionalized account of the final five “mysterious” days of Edgar Allan Poe’s life. Apparently the famous writer joins the hunt for a serial killer whose murders are inspired by his stories.

Raise your hand if your glad that John Cusack nabbed this role and Ewan McGregor didn’t.  What a miscast that would have been.  Albeit, cause for concern is slated filmmaker James McTeigue, who, under the auspices of the Wachowski siblings, directed the underwhelming V for Vendetta.

I’ll be satiated enough if McTeigue’s The Raven is sans any bullet time sequences of Poe dodging cooping agents.  Prior to McTeigue’s involvement, it was rumored that Machinist and Session 9 director Brad Anderson was developing the project, which would have been an ineffably superior pairing.

Still, when it comes to cinematic interpretations of Poe’s last living and breathing days on earth, beggars can’t be choosers.

Now if only the “serial killer” in McTeigue’s version of Poe’s last five days was Griswold himself … it’d be a nice little revenge fantasy — in bullet time.