July 22, 2010

when strings cross...

Life is made up of strings. I know, you thought the substance of the universe was slightly more substantial and a little less annoying, but hey. Some strings never touch other strings while others get tangled. If you are really lucky you might even get a tapestry out of the deal!

Recently I was reading two very different things (Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury and essays by C.S. Lewis) when strings tangled in a lovely dance.

In Fahrenheit 451, first published in 1953, Bradbury talks about how television (essentially) took over free thought. People got sucked into scripts that said nothing, with "family" that they had never met.

Then came Lewis, in his essay published in 1947, "On Stories", he talks about a movie version of King Solomon's Mines, and how the movie changed the ending and thus, for Lewis, ruined the whole story. His rant against the silver screen was rather moving, even for a movie buff like myself!

I found it very intriguing that both writers picked up on the idea that movies might numb the mind to thought and fiction alike. Even more so because in a way movies HAVE changed the way stories are told, and yet, the publishing industry is still going strong. Thankfully we have not gone in the direction of Bradbury's world, but I have to agree with Lewis that in a movie made from a book, we sometimes lose what made the story so moving and beautiful in the first place.

For those who knew me when the Lord of the Rings movies came out, you'll know that I, like Lewis, can get a bit upset when a director "ruins" the story. I love story, and as an author, I value the integrity of story. But as a director and actor, I can also understand how some things work better visually than others. I am constantly torn between the two sides--and you all thought I just didn't sleep because I drink too much Mt. Dew!

I'm glad that I can still read freely, even more so that I can think about what I read and find the strings that shimmer through various thoughts and tangle. I just wanted to share these intersecting strings with you all, because maybe at least one of you will find it interesting.

Now go read a book!

(Lewis' "On Stories" can be found in the book Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories, one that I highly recommend to anyone who has a love of story, and especially writers.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

yep, I found this interesting! Thanks for sharing it, Sara!