show me (and don’t tell me)

more on chicago style

I forgot to mention another way in which I deviate from Chicago style, which is the fact that starling's name is always lower case. Actually, the CMOS does make provision for writers or artists who prefer for their names to be lower case (like bell hooks), but says that such names should never begin a sentence. So, if we accept that this rule should apply to starling, I obviously don't follow the rule, since her name, lower case and all, begins many sentences.

Do I have any idea why her name is always lower case? Hell, I don't even know why her name is starling to begin with.

(By the way, the "bell hooks" rule cited above does not apply to e. e. cummings, as per the CMOS, since it was his publisher's idea not to capitalize his name.)

stories to think about

I love things which make more sense the more you think about them, rather than the opposite (which is much more common in movies these days).

I was thinking about this when I was watching "The Mother Hunt," one of the episodes of the Nero Wolfe TV series from a few years back (which I just bought on DVD). In the middle of the episode, Archie is chiding Wolfe's client, Lucy, for calling him "Archie" while she's being a "huffy client" (she is informal because their relations have become, as Archie puts it, "cordial").

Much later in the episode, Wolfe tells Archie the solution of the mystery, and Archie chides himself that he should have thought of it himself. "You were fuming," Wolfe tells him. "You can't think when you're fuming." Archie repeatedly denies he was fuming (as Lucy denied she was being huffy), but there is never a mention of the parallel between these two scenes.

In the movie Dogma, Bethany is dissatisfied with both men and women, and her friend says she needs to ask God for a third option. Later, she wonders why she was not able to bear children (resulting in the breakup of her marriage). Her mother told her that, "God has a plan," but Bethany didn't see what plan God had that was more important than her having a family. "Wasn't that good enough for God?" she demands.

These questions are answered by the end of the movie, but no attention is ever called to this fact. There is no big scene (or any scene) where Bethany (or anybody else) comments on how her questions are now answered. But they are.

I like that. The more you think about the story, the more sense it makes. I try to do that (to show things without shining a spotlight on them), though here I gave in and explained what was going on here. But it's in another novel, so maybe that makes a difference. And it seemed (in the context of the current novel) an important part of clarifying (as I do throughout this book) who Katherine really is, compared to U-town, where she was to some extent playing a part.

Now, if someone could just explain to me why my dialup gets all slow and funky on Sunday evenings when I'm trying to post these entries. Well, I shouldn't blame the dialup, since it works fine on this computer (the Mac), just not on the Windows machine.

As Nero Wolfe would say, "Pfui!"

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