Thursday, February 16, 2006

Freedomland, The Sea The Sea

Some reading I'm doing: I finished Freedomland by Richard Price who I don't know but was in the Columbia MFA program when I was. I enjoyed it, partly. I think all this stuff is much better than the average best-seller-to-movie stuff out there, but after awhile all the sweat and funkiness began to get to me. Price likes his characters to breathless as they rush up stairs and sleepless with crummy apartments they rarely use, needing a shower and a shave etc. That kind of male-world-view of the jaded-but-still-idealistic-inside character as the ultimate hero, and even better if he suffers a lot. The movie is coming out this week, with Samuel Jackson and Juliann Moore, which make good choices, although she’s probably a little old (unusual complaint for the movies– a too old actress). Towards the end, the book borders on, and maybe crosses the border into, the imitative fallacy, that is, to create a turgid atmosphere, the story gets turgid. I wonder, do black people read Richard Price's books? Spike Lee must, because he's used Price's work.
Meanwhile, I'm in the
middle of Iris Murdoch's The Sea, The Sea and I am just blown away by her total conviction about the quirky world she writes about. Does she know how off-kilter it is? Or is it like El Greco, according to one theory, whose attenuated figures looked normal to him because of some astigmatism or something in his eyesight?

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