This morning’s baseline: laughter-causing disbelief

In Drafts, Film, Hautvoir, Poetry, Revision on April 22, 2015 at 6:42 am

Funny that The New York Times should mention Doctor Zhivago, this morning (now on stage after the screen version). Both the movie and Pasternak’s novel were on my mind yesterday, after viewing something called Enfant 44 (Child 44). What can I say? I gaped and disbelieved from the first frame to the last. The Soviet Union under Stalin as backdrop and prop store for a ludicrous action film. The kind where the hero gets rammed head first into a wall by three huge thugs and his tiny, beautiful wife contributes to his salvation and hers. The three goons die from their wounds, the heroine is not raped, and the hero doesn’t suffer a concussion. After which they both jump out of a moving train, etc. As for the closing scene, it gave fresh meaning to the word maudlin. Plus, I have to wonder if anyone took the time to check on details such as traveling time between places such as Rostov and Moscow back in nineteen fifty-two. But enough.

Another opportunity for gaping came earlier at the mediatheque where I like to work every chance I get. Some five or six women from the retirement home sat a few tables away with a woman who read poems to them and asked for their comments in return. While I agree that the subjects of aging and death belong to the human experience and deserve as much attention as any other, an hour-long reading of poems on nothing but? To a group of women, the youngest of which admitted to eighty years of living experience and the eldest to ninety-five? The reader treated them like doddering children. The doddering children responded as expected with “how nice” and “doesn’t she read well?”. Dylan Thomas’ Do Not Go Gently Into that Good Night was not part of the reading selection.

More mediatheque time to work on the draft today? For sure. Plus another film at six. Taking advantage of the time off while it lasts.



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