bloomsday and (not) related subjects

First of all, it’s Bloomsday!

Yay!

(Okay, yeah, I meant to post this yesterday. 🙂 )

 
This pleased me: “Christo’s Newest Project: Walking on Water

My mother was a huge Christo fan. She would have enjoyed reading about, and thinking about, this project.

The comment that there should be a web cam completely misses the point, though. As with The Gates in Central Park, there is no substitute for actually being there. Some things can’t be conveyed by a computer screen, no matter how high the resolution.

 
There was an interesting post over at The Debutante Ball about how, basically, all stories are either “a person goes on an adventure” or “a stranger comes to town.”

A lot of stories do fall into one or the other of those categories, obviously.

Hey was my comment:

“I think that, in general, mysteries don’t fall into either of those categories. A minority are ‘a stranger comes to town,’ and a few are about going on an adventure, but I think, in very broad terms, mysteries are a result of urban living, where the mystery, and possible danger, is not the stranger from out of town, but the people down the hall, or across the street, who you kind of know but don’t really know.

“Because the murderer usually isn’t the stranger (the stranger can be a great red herring, though 🙂 ), but the person who’s always been there, quietly, but whose inner life you don’t actually know anything about.”

I’ve also been thinking about Shakespeare. I think the theory would have to be stretched quite a bit — maybe beyond the point of usefulness — to cover King Lear or Othello.

It does cover Hamlet quite nicely, though. One of my professors in college said that the key was that Hamlet had been to college.

So, having been educated, he was a stranger coming back home — not the person he had been before. He was therefore, my professor asserted, a 17th century mind in a 13th century situation.

Which he was, ironically, completely unable to deal with.

Which makes me think of Roger Zelazny’s novel Today We Choose Faces, which is based on the premise that what makes a story interesting is the right person in the wrong circumstances. For example, switch Hamlet and Othello. If Hamlet had been in Othello’s situation, he wouldn’t have been fooled by Iago’s primitive (no evidence, after all) allegations. If Othello had heard the message from the ghost, he would simply have gone ahead and killed Claudius. So, two very short and uninteresting plays.

 
Oh, and there’s this:

Helen Mirren Joins Fast 8 Cast (Meaning It’ll Be Even More Badass Than We Thought

(Squee!)

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2 Responses to bloomsday and (not) related subjects

  1. Maggie says:

    I think it depends on who you consider a “stranger.” You could know someone superficially for many years but never really know anything about them. A stranger coming to town would describe most books… being that all people are really strangers to one another. Nobody can really know everything about a person. Even someone you’re very close to can be a stranger to a degree.

  2. Very true. For example, if you know somebody at work, even pretty well, you have no real idea what they’re like in other situations. And vice versa. 🙂

    There’s a recurring line in the movie Miller’s Crossing: “Nobody knows anybody. Not that well.”

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