I visited Across the Universe only because I liked the dreamy feel of the sappy newspaper ad; the movie had several potential negatives for me, including being a musical, tampering with the sacrosanct Beatles, and a slew of negative or lackluster reviews. I loved it, though it messed up my plans for the day when I realized I had to stay and see the whole thing. The kitsch was self-mocking plus the music director understood what made Beatle vocal lines so good, why most of the instrumentation should not be mimicked, and which of the guitar riffs were essential as filler. The movie was willing to plain flat out admit it didn’t make much sense, which was also a virtue of Dragon Wars. I saw the first third of that one only because it was South Korean.
Book season this fall is amazing; there is an impressive pile on the sofa, but sadly (for the sake of science) I cannot find many books that I have only one reason for reading. I liked the title of An Arsonist’s Guide to Writers’ Homes in New England (though nothing else about it) and so I have a library copy. Tree of Smoke is shaping up as the best American novel in years. The new Pamuk is getting me interested in rereading Dostoyevsky; it is sad to see Pamuk having written that he cannot imagine leaving Istanbul.
Jacqueline Passey reports that I am less funny in person though she did not resort to the word grim.
I’ve been to lots of meetings lately, if only to become a better and more productive person.