Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Flannery O'Conner's cinematic prose

Look at this excerpt from Flannery O'Conner's short story The Life You Save May Be Your Own:

Mr. Shiftlet's eye in the darkness was focused on a part of the automobile bumper that glittered in the distance. "Lady," he said, jerking his short arm up as if he could point with it to her house and yard and pump, "there ain't a broken thing on this plantation that I couldn't fix for you, one‚ÄĎarm jackleg or not. I'm a man," he said with a sullen dignity, "even if I ain't a whole one. I got," he said, tapping his knuckles on the floor to emphasize the immensity of what he was going to say, "a moral intelligence!" and his face pierced out of the darkness into a shaft of doorlight and he stared at her as if he were astonished himself at this impossible truth.

Isn't that very filmic? It may just be by obsession with film, but it seems like that's a heck of a lot of acting, directing and cinematography for a paragraph, not to mention amazing writing.

Perhaps the Brothers Coen could take on one of her stories? Their new film (an adaptation of a novel by another writer of 'southern gothic'), No Country for Old Men, looks amazing.

P.S. I listened to the O'Conner story today on Miette's excellent Bedtime Stories podcast. Kind of strange listening to rednecks read with an English accent, but she's an excellent reader.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Chestertonian Rambler said...

Regarding your post on my site:

I felt that the difference between the Harry Potter books and at least the first movie is just the idea of Fantasy. That is, certainly in the books there are a lot of "rules of magic" of the sort that reduces magic to a whimsical science. But for me, when Harry first entered the forbidden forest, with its ancient evil and satyrs, the novel very adroitly leapt into the level of fantasy.

So....in conclusion HP has the flexibility to work as both a novel and a romance.

6/06/2007 5:24 AM  

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