Tag Archives: Obsessive Lists

The New Literary Literature

Or, how my roommate and I spent an hour talking about candy bars on Facebook, and within the conceit of Take 5, we covered every possible facet of humanity. Literature, music, war, fascism, hate, happiness, sex, Nazism… we cover it all. All under the guise of a hatred of Take 5. Or Take Five. Answer to whatever God you must.

I present to you… The Take Down of Take Five.  (It’s very long).

You haven’t gotten to the best parts yet. Like Stephen King and Pol Pot. Keep going. Have a Take 5.

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CONFESSION: I am a Secret Shipper

I ship. There, I said it. I ship. If there is a YA novel, television show, movie, or comic book and there is romance involved, I will find a couple to love and follow with all my heart. For example:  Sasuke and Sakura kind of need to be together forever. For. Ever. I love fandom. I’m pretty sure it began with my fierce belief in Dawson and Joey’s Everlasting Love.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term ‘ship’ – Urban Dictionary defines it as “endors[ing] a romantic relationship.” I’ll just go ahead and add in the phrase “that is unrelated to you” at the end of that definition.

I have noticed, however, that YA novels of late have been taking advantage of this shipping trait by creating discord among the fans. The readers have to choose who they think makes the better match! The most visible, of course, is Twilight. Are you Team Jacob? Or Team Edward? (… or Team Edward&Jacob because Bella’s a blank slate of a character who doesn’t really represent anything but women-belong-in-the-kitchen-making-babies ideology?) There’s also the epically fantastic Hunger Games series which pits Peeta against Gale (Gale! Gale!… though I almost changed my mind when Mockingjay came out. The shippers, they are fickle on occasion).

That being said, I’m finding this to be a more troublesome trend in the YA market now. Triangles for the sake of bloody triangles. Dear everyone-writing-a-young-adult-novel, you do not need to have two love interests for your heroine. You don’t need kids to be pitted against kids in an epic battle of this-guy’s-better-for-her-than-your-guy just to get your book to sell. If it happens as a result of just having awesome characters, fine – but don’t deliberately create a situation in which you’re selling your own characters out. I’ve put down several YA novels in recent times because I can see that it’s empty-faced girl and two gorgeous guys, and o, Gods, how will she choose?! You know who didn’t do that? JK Rowling, bitches.

So, writers, balance the possible relationships. Balance. Make me love all the characters so much that I could never choose, but will still spend time talking about the character’s ultimate choice on the internet (… Vampire Diaries, I’m looking at you).

Related anecdote:  A few nights ago, a friend and I were watching Disney videos on Youtube (because we’re awesome), when I noticed an associated video, “Draco / Hermione Can You Feel the Love Tonight” – we both thought, what? Clicked.

You’re welcome:

THIS IS ACTUALLY HAPPENING, FRIENDS.

Turns out, anything can be shipped. I mean seriously. Anything.

(I’m sorry).

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Adaptasaurus Rex! Raaaaar!

Last night, I went and saw Jane Eyre in one of the two theaters in which it is playing. (I picked the one that was less likely to have o-the-horror, or as they’re better known, bed bugs).

I should start off by saying, I am hugely, giantly, nerdily, grossly in love with Jane Eyre. It’s been my favorite book since I was fourteen. There’s something about this incredible story full of gothic mystery, love, betrayal, and passion happening to two fairly unremarkable people. I don’t think, however, that this makes my opinion on the film any harsher than it would have been if I was just a passing reader.

Alright, confession time over.

So as I said, I went to see the movie last night.

I knew something was wrong when the movie made me snicker. One should not snicker during Jane Eyre! It is not a snicker-worthy story! Some light laughter perhaps, at Jane and Rochester’s banter, a smile or two at her precociousness, even. But snicker?

The movie was just not. that. great.  They did an admirable job of keeping all the relevant plot points, and even giving Jane’s story some context (for first-timers) by opening with her fleeing Thornfield. I don’t have a single issue with their adapting the story to script. My issue is that they lost all the feeling. The Red Room or when we finally meet Rochester’s mad wife for the first time – all kind of left me saying, meh. And the loving words exchanged between Jane and Rochester? Laughable. I mean literally… we laughed at them.

It’s not like literary adaptions are impossible to get right! I mean, just look at the following:

Pride & Prejudice


I was staunchly against this movie when it came out in 2005. I have never been a huge Keira Knightly fan. (I think it’s the way you can always see her bottom teeth. So weird.) Also, how dare they think that anyone but Colin Firth could ever be Mr. Darcy! Eventually, I ended up on a 10 hour flight with a broken iPod, so I sucked it up and watched the only movie available on the flight: Pride & Prejudice.  I was genuinely surprised by how good it was. The acting, the script, the cinematography and the music came together and encapsulated what makes P&P such an enjoyable read.

The Importance of Being Earnest:

Again, I actually mean the newer version. Oscar Wilde has some misses on his repertoire – but the Importance of Being Earnest is not one of them. The play is brilliant and hilarious, and the movie carries it off really well.

Dangerous Liaisons / Cruel Intentions


This is a dangerous admission on my part. I think Cruel Intentions is a fairly good modern interpretation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos’ Les Liaisons Dangereuses. As of three months ago, it was the only version of the book I’d seen in any format. Then I watched John Malcovich and Glenn Close tear it the eff up as the Vicomte and the Marquise. I mean, damn.

The list goes on: Lord of the Rings, Wuthering Heights (1939), Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz (arguably better than the book), pieces of the Harry Potter canon, Emma (2009)… IT CAN BE DONE.

So Jane Eyre, in it’s inability to honestly use what the author had provided, failed to be a successful adaptation. It had the right pieces, but lost itself in campy horror tricks, ridiculously stilted conversations, and period film cliches.

I guess you could call Jane Eyre a rental… but if you’re going to go to the movies, maybe you should think about seeing Rango instead. I hear that the animation’s, like, really good.

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Words Are Awesome.

No seriously. If I were to throw my language back for a hot minute, I might say that words and I have a very serious love affair, darling. So when I read, sometimes (… let’s be honest, more often than not), I read for style versus story. Because even if (not saying that this is true), but even if there are a finite number of stories in the world, there are a kazillion ways to tell them. It all comes down to how you use words. And not to say the story doesn’t matter, because if your plot or characters are uninteresting, then I don’t give a whaaaat about what you have to say. Mostly because you’re boring. So I probably hate you.

ANYWAY… so, quotes. This is dedicated to some of my favorite favorite quotes, and a few from friends and family and random interneters (courtesy of ontd-p) as well of course. Because as the internet should be, my blog is a CONVERSATION. Y’all should take a listen and speak up. Ya heard?

Here we go. In no particular order, the following are some random favorites with spotty commentary here and there. For funsies.

“In the beginning the Universe was created. This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams.

Of course, Douglas Adams Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy has one of the best opening lines to any book ever. Adams speaks for all of us (well those of us who enjoy his humor any how). It is a particularly common sentiment, for example, when considering Fox News has more viewers than all the other news networks combined.

“Proud people breed sad sorrows for themselves.” – Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte.

(You guys see Laurence Olivier’s jawline, g’damn Heathcliffe – BaDOW).

“To die will be an awfully big adventure.” – Peter Pan

I adore Peter Pan, I really do. As the Disney Movie, as the live action movie, in Hook, and especially as the book. Of a time when it was okay for a children’s novel to be melancholy, Peter has one of the most simultaneously depressing and beautiful stories I’ve had the good fortune to read. With eight words, Barrie pretty much sums up our hero. It’s not about what’s happening, but rather, how interesting it is. How much fun Peter will have doing it. And death, well, you only get to play that game once. So it better be good, son.

“But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.” – 1984, George Orwell.

First of all, yes. That is me. I was born in 1984 and so it totally makes sense. Shut up. That being said, this quote gives me the chills. The book is terrifying and amazing and I can remember sitting down and reading it in one sitting when I was fourteen. The direct way that Winston spoke to us was at best unsettling, but if we’re being totes truthful, no double speak involved, the narrative just lent itself to a simple terror. Also, my least favorite class in high school was French class which was in room 101 for three years. Going to French class was like letting rats eat my face off.

“No matter how hard I try to be good I can never make such a success of it as those who are naturally good. It’s a good deal like geometry, I expect. But don’t you think the trying so hard ought to count for something?”- Anne of Green Gables, Lucy Maud Montgomery.

“You’re beautiful, but you’re empty…. No one could die for you.” – Le Petit Prince, Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

“It’s not denial. I’m just selective about the reality I accept.” – Calvin & Hobbes, Bill Watterson.

Yes, yes, Calvin & Hobbes is a comic strip – but probably one of the most intelligent and witty strips ever written. It was a damn shame when Watterson retired (because commercialism fucked him over), but this one line has always stuck with me. Pretty sure I’ve ended more than one paper with it. (The accompanying image is remarkably apt as well.)

“He is at ease, his body sculpted to the music, his shoulder searching the other shoulder, his right toe knowing the left knee, the height, the depth, the form, the control, the twist of his wrist, the bend of his elbow, the tilt of his neck, notes digging into his arteries, and he is in the air now, forcing the legs up beyond muscular memory, one last press of the thighs, an elongation, a loosening of human contour, he goes higher, and is skyheld.” – Dancer, Colum McCann.

There is not enough to be said about the manner in which Colum McCann writes. It was hard to pick a quote from this passage, probably one of my favorite passages ever written. You can read the entire thing here. As my buddy All-Beef Pateenz can tell you, Colum McCann is easily one of the best voices in recent times, he uses words like colors and paints these incredible scenes for us. And it’s always more than just a picture, it becomes this living scene inside of you that you just feel down to your toes.

For fun, here is Nuruyev on The Muppet Show in 1977. With Miss Piggy in a Sauna and Dancing Swine Lake.

“You don’t have to stay anywhere forever.” The Sandman Series, Neil Gaiman.

Most of you know I kind of have to put this in there. But really, in the Kindly Ones when Lucifer says this to Delirium, it’s chilling. We know it’s the end, because nothing is forever. He especially knows this. … It’s kind of a weird video, I won’t lie to you. But hey, such is what happens when you google “lucifer morningstar” – he totes digs ambrosia.

“The Angel has confided in me that he is going to ask the Lord if he can become Spider-Man.” Lamb: the Gospel According to Christ’s Childhood Pal, Biff, Chris Moore.

It was hard to pick a good quote from this book just because so much of it is tear-inducing hilarious. Also, when trying to find an image to associate with this quote, I found this: LOL JESUS. You’re welcome.

“Weep not, my love,
Weep not, my love,
Your heart is close to me.
You fucking bitch,
Ungrateful cunt,
Your heart is close to me.
Oh, do not fear,
I’m nearer than near,
Your heart is close to me.
I’ll gouge out your eyes
And pound in your fucking head,
You fucking bitch whore,
Your heart is close to me.” Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Safran Foer.

Don’t get me wrong, I hated the movie. Hated it. But c’mon, look how darn cute Elijah is. I can’t hate him. What do you want me to be? A monster? Jesus Christ.

“But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she’s going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can’t stand it. I been there before.” Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain.

I chose this quote not just because Huckleberry Finn is a favorite character of mine (so much better than Tom Sawyer, let’s be real), but because of it’s association to Iain Sinclair and Marc Atkins. I read both Lights Out for the Territory and Liquid City as a senior in college for a seminar on Mr. Sinclair. He was (and still is) the most frustrating writer I’d ever experienced. Of course, at the time, I hated it. But, looking back I have to respect his use of language. He used words to trip up his readers, I remember one line in particular, in White Chapel, Scarlet Tracings – the character is cooking breakfast, and Sinclair ties in the cooking of the eggs to the character’s scapula. If I hadn’t lost the book long ago, I’d put that quote in there because it’s been in my head for four years.

… I’m rambling. My apologies. I love this quote, cliche as it may have become, it’s a beautiful way to phrase wanderlust.

So there you have it, just a few random smatterings of the many, many, many. I may (read as: will probably) do another one of these some time in the future with more words of style from other books or short stories.

Suggestions kiddos? I know how you all love to read and support my lifestyle.

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