Wednesday, March 10, 2010

my spirit takes me through this avenue

One of the bigger transitions I'm making from "student of literature" to "writer" is the idea that my own methods have value. That's not something you hear too often over the course of literary scholarship - it comes with publishing and giving talks and writing books and devoting yourself to the Canon, as it were. It's earned, and there are clearances one must pass through to get there. Which is great, except that if your goals in life don't include academia (and they shouldn't), you come away from it feeling like everything you say or think about literature, about reading, is wrong. Not only wrong, but utterly meaningless unless it is a composite of older, deader, usually whiter opinions about literature and reading. This can be very damaging to one's early writing career, because the whole point of writing original work is to put your own ideas, methods, theories, etc. about the art form to work, and seeing what comes of it.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

a rumbling of little cart-wheels

So, in spite of what I was afraid Tim Burton would do to it, I went to see Alice In Wonderland tonight. Not in 3-D - conventional tickets were expensive enough, but this movie didn't really need 3-D gimmickry for the basic story and lush setting to express itself.

What I can say, weighing the bad against the good, is that this story didn't need Tim Burton. In fact, no stories with any touch of subtle creepiness need him, because what he does is exaggerate the creep factor to the point of irrelevance. Pretty, cartoonish, marketable irrelevance, yes, but irrelevance all the same. Alice In Wonderland would be dark and fantastical without Tim Burton's Magic Goth Frosting smeared all over it, and it would come off as less shallow and rehearsed, as well.