Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I don’t remember reading many books and gaining my own vision of the story before seeing the movie; There was Battle Cry, based on Leon Uris’ first book and my incentive for joining the Marines before finishing high school. There was Payton Place, Life According to Garp, To Kill a Mockingbird and of course the classics we read in school. I never read Lord of the Rings. But in general, my reading is pretty much off the best seller map, following traces in the spaces of a flexible curriculum so attractive to my irrepressible curiosity. Among such ponder wanders I fell into the imaginary world of Philip Pullman following the opening page of The Golden Compass when the little hero, Lyra Belaqua, her daemon, Pantalaimon and I set out upon an adventure in a world where humans can speak with the rest of the animals. I read the entire enthrallogy plagued with that sappy hope that the world could be that way some day. What can I say, I’m a sap.

I have begun rereading the trilogy in preparation for seeing the movie version due out in December — I hope they don’t make it Xmasy. I wonder if the reread is to bolster my memory of my version against any omissions or contradictions? Can I let my version go sufficiently enough to immerse myself in the movie’s version? So far these considerations loom with the flies on the wall of my mental asylum as I literally revisit a beloved land before developers move in to make of it what they will — or leave it in its virgin state. Riiiiight. Previews are promising.

Speaking of saps, I would like to say something in defense of the etymology of the word fool and of often gladly being one when the time is ripe. Originally a fool was defined as one capable of being fond and found favor as compassionately wise council to authorities. The negative campaign against this definition was waged by the blood thirsty righteousness of traders, raiders and crusaders against conscientious objectors refusing to rape, pillage and murder. Today, our leader has no compassionate wisdom at his side, no daemon — all that is on the other side against his war, the seventy percent who see the simple fact that we cannot achieve peace or make friends with the people who’ve survived our killing of their loved ones every day for four years. The thirty percent who stick with this madhouse regime, are hoping to share in the loot, or at least get eaten last. Congress critters cry that to call for a compassionate end to the killing bodes termination of their precious careers and every one of ‘em say they’re nobody’s fool.


Erica said...

I thought briefly about re-reading these books after seeing the movie trailer, but realized I'd just be setting myself up for disappointment. Perhaps the movie will be fantastic and I will be thrilled with how well it tells the story I like so much. But I know me, and I can be a bit too much of a purist to appreciate someone else's interpretation of something I really like.

That said, holy shit! am I looking forward to this movie!

Anonymous said...

oh! i thought many had not ever read Phillip Pullman's books. My oldest son introduced me to them 4 years ago ? maybe 5 ... I devoured them ... what gorgeous works of fantasy. I, too, had my own 'vision' of the story as it played in my mind's eye. My son, now 15, and I have made a date to see the movie together.

Re-reading might be a wise idea ... if only i had the time. Personally, I will try to anticipate the film with little expectation other than to be transported wondrously into that other world.

But yes, Xmasy would certainly destroy it for me ...!

gregra&gar said...

Always content with my own feelings for a book, movie or music, I feel them enhanced by becoming aware of being part of a larger stirring, each their own vision, none destructive of the others. The hermit realizes there is a strain of kindred spirits among the mob. I have realized my solitary naiveté many times, most especially when attending a Pink Floyd concert on their Momentary Lapse of Reason tour with gift tickets (I would never have paid so much for myself, it was my birthday) to find myself to be just one cell in the sensitive flesh lining the ear of the acoustically perfect auditorium with more fellow cells than I had ever or will ever be a part again.

These two comments evoke the same sense of grateful sharing of something held dear whether anyone else ever knew of its existence or not. No matter our versions, the compass points to wonderment.

BTW Erica, did you note that the girl with the daemon is Crystal? She definitely has one.:)

Anonymous said...

well said, g&g. well said.

karoline said...

movies will never be true representations of a book...there is always a fundamental lack of imagination involved, mainly your own...

imagination is to a book, as clarity is to an image.