Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And What to Make of Ruins?


Greece, literature's senile grandparent, stumbles along wounded, the artists' echoes no match for the fire, or the politicians' empty promises. From Greek Reporter:
As Greeks awoke on Feb. 13 after a night of violence and arson that destroyed 45 businesses in the capital city, they saw nothing was left of one of its most historic venues, the Neo-Classical building that housed the century-old Attikon theater, one of the lushest old movie palaces in Europe, gone now with the ashes that flitted into the night air like celluloid film burning away. It burned along with the adjacent Apollon, restored half a century ago.
The article blames "anarchists," which is usually a sign of lazy or non reporting, though the Greek flair for drama is apparent in the caption that reads "Athens' Attikon movie theater survived the Nazis, but not Greek anarchists, who burned it down."


Greece also recently lost one of its most notable film directors, Theo Angelopoulos. David Thomson offers praise:
The ultimate reason for valuing him so highly is the humanity in his work, and the sense of the terrible damage that has been done to people in a world of so many refugees and displaced persons; people who have lost their roots, lost their family contacts, don't really quite understand what happened to them in life.

The Greek tradition has always had a migratory aspect, but there's still something fascinating about art that grows from the old native soil, even if the connection is mostly imagined. The imagination's connections are the soul of art. Perhaps more.

From the ruins of Troy came the Illiad... so there's still hoping.


Pericles' Funeral Oration, Philipp von Foltz

And a final word from Pericles (via Thucydides):
Our love of what is beautiful does not lead to extravagance; our love of the things of the mind does not make us soft.
Surely this can be connected to Valentine's Day, thus making me doubly topical. :)

Monday, February 13, 2012

Credit for the Edit?

It's a long-held tradition in Hollywood for everyone on a project to claim creative credit for the best parts of a film. They even have arbitration hearings to determine who gets to put their name on the film as a writer.

Some things are hard to share!

So it seems the lit establishment is stealing from Hollywood again. From the Guardian:
The Booker prize-winning author Ben Okri has damned his editor's claim to have rewritten the dialogue in one of his books as "monstrous, and indeed suspect".
Prediction: as self-publishing spreads and the cultural center shifts, we'll see more establishment claims of being not only responsible for necessary business/distribution/etc matters, but also for the creative content itself.
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