Monday, 24 October 2011

It means what it means


I understand (from reading an interview with Lee Child in the Times a few weeks back) that Hollywood was a bit concerned about making any of the Reacher books into films because Reacher doesn’t change. The whole point of Reacher as a character is that he stays exactly the same. Yes, the reader might discover a little more about him but that doesn't change him in any way. Hollywood meanwhile is obsessed with the character arc and how everyone is a better person at the end of the story.

This made me think about Our Tragic Universe by Scarlett Thomas has some interesting ideas about the storyless story. So in these there is no problem to be solved or obstacle to be overcome. Something happens, no matter how insignificant and that is enough to make it into a story. 

Our Tragic Universe isn’t an entirely storyless novel but it edges in that direction. There is no big ending where everything is wrapped up. The characters do develop but there are also indicators within the novel that the development is on-going and that it isn’t always for the better.

I’ve also just recalled the definition of theatre that Peter Brook offers in his book The Empty Space.  If memory serves me correctly he talks about anyone walking across a space while someone else is watching to be theatre. So no need for a complicated plot or character development.

Now this got me thinking about blogs and the urge to find meaning in small things and explain via a blog entry how this realisation made the blogger a better person.

I’ve done it myself. I’ve over explained the simple. I’ve read layers of meaning into the every day. While I’m all for taking inspiration where you can, living in the moment and embracing the mundane maybe it’s time to let things be when I blog about them. Just note what I’ve done/seen/been thinking about. Comment that it’s cool/shocking/amusing. Leave it be. 

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
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