Sunday, 11 April 2010


This topic recently came to the fore on one of my web groups. Do movies do justice to the novel from hence they sprung? Does the modern generation prefer the visual masterpiece of…e.g. Lord of the Rings, Alice in Wonderland and so on as opposed to sitting down and wading through what is now sadly considered by many as long-winded unnecessary prose? God help us all, if this is the case.

Don’t get me wrong, I adore movie versions of the great classics. Let’s take Tolkien’s epic as an example.

Lord of the Rings; While I except that it may not be considered as great as the book {and why should it be} for me, it has to be set aside on its own and allowed to be judged as a movie - where, in my humble opinion, it is one of the greatest movies of all time.{closely followed by Gladiator} Characterization, acting, depth of emotion, photography, blah...I could go on all day. Would Tolkien have liked it? Probably not. After all, Middle Earth was his creation, his genius. If I had penned anything half as outstanding, I would die a happy woman and probably as possessive as hell with my manuscript. However, yes, the movie was a cinematic masterpiece but should the youth of today not be encouraged to read the Tolkien’s literary vision? Goodness me, children are no longer familiar with the classic fairy tales, preferring, instead to wait for Disney’s or Pixar’s next d.v.d offering. {No offence – I love Disney}. My point is – everything these days is about instant fix and this seems to be the trend in modern publishing – especially in the romance field

While I understand the desire of the 'modern' reader wanting to 'cut to the chase' as such, {I often included} who amongst us have not immersed ourselves in realms of beautiful prose, simply's beautiful. It is rather ironic to think that, in these times, the great romance writer, Shakespeare may not have found a home for his great works - as would be the case for Dickens, Austen {the original kick –ass chick litter} Now wouldn't that be a huge loss to mankind.

I believe writing can be likened to art and photography. We all love our digital cameras and camera phones for quick fixes but do we not sigh in awe and wonder when studying the great masters; De Vinci's Mona Lisa, Monet's water-lilies? Sure, we can pick up a couple of postcard copies but where is the depth and compassion behind each stroke? It is the same with prose. A well-written albeit long passage can be so beautiful that it draws us in and takes our breath away. I believe we must give the modern reader more credit and refrain from telling them what they want to read. I hear so much, these days, about limited attention span - both for adults and children - but which came first? The Chicken or the egg?

Love to hear your thoughts.


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