Friday, September 23, 2005

Empty Words

I think I've officially given up reading The Historian, or at least I switched to Our Game by Le Carre this evening on my outing with the dog. I kept turning the page on The Historian hoping there would be something there that made me want to keep reading, but alas,... I'm not sure really what this book was about... It was basically a travelogue with vampiric overtones. Unfortunately, the vampiric overtones consisted of a couple sitings of individuals with bite marks on their necks, anecdotes in out of the way European bistros.... There was an interesting image of a dragon picture in the middle of an ancient, otherwise 'blank', book, that was actually supposed to be a 'map' to the 'real' Dracula's hidden (very secret) tomb. Alas it was just taking too long to get there though, and I otherwise didn't see anything new here... Besides, it's really rotten writing.

My hungry eyes read the first couple of paragraphs in Our Game and thought there was more there than the 141 pages I gave The Historian...

Friday, September 09, 2005

Reading Ghosts

A couple of weeks ago I was climbing the steps to Kerry Park, and there was a bubble around me, that had me climbing stairs or a street in Hong Kong. It had been a couple of weeks since I'd finished The Honourable Schoolboy, but nevertheless I recognised the bubble as that book and felt for a moment that Jerry Westerby was walking there just back over my shoulder. Probably back in lower Kerry Park where I'd read a few pages in the book. This ghost had previously or subsequently visited me in Rodgers Park as well. I remember Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was under my arm, and then there was Hong Kong. Or was it Laos, Phnom Pehn, Cambodia proper? Now it was Harry's turn.

I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix so much, it's just inexpressable. But as I said (somewhere) I felt like Batman Begins was a movie that you just wanted to go on when the lights came up, well, so was Harry. I understand the lights have to come up, but... So, I had to go right out and make sure I had reading material once page 869 turned... I went and got The Historian at Costco... Ghosts.... Undead... Well, there's something about the writing that rubs me the wrong way, too descriptive, sort of banal, but nevertheless, evocative of a certain gothic edge... Nevertheless, as I was leading the dog into Rodger's Park the other day, Historian under arm, there was Harry, his own spectral self, his own spectral bubble, at the edge of my vision.

I know from time to time I see a movie that will offer me a ghost for a day or two (they're always the best movies...). But I can't remember any that payoff like a re ading ghost though. Yeah, when I'm 54, I probably won't remember a hair of the Phoenix* or Jerry, but a reading ghost can still hang in there for a week, perhaps a month.... oh hell, I loved The Plague, the Cormac MaCarthy trilogy, even The Castle, even The Dark Frontier... a reading ghost will last years...

* Well maybe I'll remember this one, but I can barely remember the others (enjoyed mostly as much...) ...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Inside the Celluloid Closet

A movie about the portrayal of homosexuals in films throughout Hollywood’s history. Amazing how we move from the freedom to express intimacy between people to a more rigid implied intimacy. I would say this applies to all relationships, M/F, M/M, F/F, but most markedly in the physical expression of tenderness between men. We move from soft touch to couched looks in the early years. The screenwriters became masters if implication. Even more interesting was how closeted audiences learned to decipher this language of silence. Definitely worth watching…I ended up adding most of the films they discussed to my NetFlix Que.