Missed his birthday by a couple of days, but anyway: Happy belated birthday, Eric Arthur George.
Animal Farm by George Orwell. It’s story time again. I think most readers agree that when you have to read and analyze a book in high school, it can take something away from the magic of said book. At the time that this was assigned, I had already read 1984 just for funsies. My relationship with Orwell’s work was established as being positive. So I was excited! I wanted to read this. I was totally pumped about it.
I enjoyed the reading of it. I got through it pretty quickly. Then the analysis phase started, where we all sat around with the teacher giving us open-ended questions about what we thought the book was about. I think most high-schoolers are unprepared for this sort of thing. I read books, but I didn’t think about theme and symbolism and all that. I feel more suited to it now, but then it’s my choice to think of books that way now, not something imposed by an instructor.
Anyway, she would ask us aloud to answer questions about the book, and typically no one wanted to say anything, because no one knew what to say. So I would try to take wild stabs in the dark, because for a minute there, I thought I actually understood this story and its meaning. But everything I said was shot down, and I was told I was wrong again and again. It made me feel very stupid, even though I understand more clearly now that whatever you get out of a book is your own journey with that book, and no one can judge it as “right” or “wrong.”
I love this book. I do. It’s very deep. It’s an easy read if you want to get into classics. It sets a fire in your heart about injustice. But goddammit, my teacher made me feel stupid, and that haunted me for a long time, and fuck this book. As well.
In the news today we see that Emma Watson, the gorgeous, gamine ingenue who first portrayed Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, will be cast in a post-apocalyptic female "Game of Thrones" type movie. I guess post-apocalyptic female dystopias are in the air! Good; Perhaps someday Spunk, a Fable, will be made into a movie, and won't that be fun!?
Okay, I'll admit it, I've played the game (in my mind of course); "who would I want to play the lead in the movie of my book?"
For the physical description of the character Pink, I imagined, not the singer who goes by that name, but the actress Lily Cole, who I consider a great beauty.
For Yuki-Kai, I imagined Paz de la Huerta, an altogether different type of beauty, but a beauty nonetheless.
I imagined Helen Mirren as the perfect Senga, but the other older women characters seemed too different to be embodied by any present-day stars. Of course, Buffy could only be played by someone like Kathy Bates, or even Kirstie Alley, a woman of substance. And who could play The Abbess? In a movie, the villain always has to cut the most striking figure-- and yesterday I read that Barbra Streisand, a most striking figure indeed, has been awarded an honorary degree--Yes; Doctor Barbra Streisand would be a most suitable Abbess!