Monday, November 16, 2020

Repost Re:Post

I have recently been pestering FB friends with longish arty-farty stuff, pieces that I once would have posted here. 

So I'll try to remember to post them here as well/instead. 


New Yorker articles - prereading for MANK


"There is a theme that is submerged in much of “Citizen Kane” but that comes to the surface now and then, and it’s the linking life story of Hearst and of Mankiewicz and of Welles—the story of how brilliantly gifted men who seem to have everything it takes to do what they want to do are defeated. It’s the story of how heroes become comedians and con artists."

There's a piece by movie critic Richard Brody on David Fincher's new bio-pic fillum Mank, about the making of Welles's (ha!) Citizen Kane, in the current New Yorker. It discusses Pauline Kael's long 1971 article, also in the New Yorker about Mankiewicz, "the Central Park West Voltaire" more than the movie as far as I read. But I would consider this (the Kael) essential pre-reading before watching the movie, although a) I haven't finished it, b) I haven't seen the new movie obviously and I can't remember much (cough) about CK and c) it's probably behind a $-wall for most/all of you.

The Brody article quotes a 1978 biography of Mankiewicz with this line Mank was prepared to say if he had turned up the Oscars (he didn't) and Welles didn't. (Citizen Kane had won Best Script with both their names on it, even though Welles contributed SFA and he initally had wanted sole credit.) “I am very happy to accept this award in Mr. Welles’s absence, because the script was written in Mr. Welles’s absence.” Comic or con?

Either way, I think Voltaire would have approved, as does


Friday, November 13, 2020

Some writers. Phew! 

I managed to get through the audiobook of The Great Fire a few years, it was a long struggle, but I enjoyed it by the end and found it both intellectually and emotionally satisfying (and I had a sense of avhievement - like completing Ulysses or, should I ever, Infinite Jest).

Warning: Shirley Hazzard does not assume you are stupid or poorly read... 

I tried again after that to read The Transit Of Venus but could not get my teeth into it. I am sure that is both my failing and my loss. Every small pulse of emotion can have such import that flows through the characters' lives, which are seemingly impossibly dense with thought, feeling, empathy, and reflection - and literary references.

I sense late in life that some people are like this in reality. Was it something I said in 1983?

Not ever being able to remember peoples' names, faces, where we met, or what I said or did to/with them had insulated me from many such regrets. Not all, but many. Someone should write a book, maybe 


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