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Post by David H on Wed Feb 04, 2015 3:22 am

Hmmm... it looks like the movie has been restored and some good "making of" stuff added. I might have to watch it again. I'm more interested in adaptations than I used to be, mainly because of the discussions here. study

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Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:09 am

Every American student has read To Kill a Mockingbird - it's the quintessential study of what this country is and what it wants to be.

The film is actually very good, and like all good adaptations resonates better if you've read the book.

The publication of the second ever Harper Lee book will be the literary event of the last few decades in this country.  One has to wonder if it can possibly be as good as the first.  To Kill a Mockingbird benefited from strong structural advice from Lee's editor, who told her to rework disparate vignettes into a single story.  This new work will be best viewed as a collection of short sketches, and will be published with no editorial input whatsoever.

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Post by Eldorion on Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:48 am

halfwise wrote:Every American student has read To Kill a Mockingbird - it's the quintessential study of what this country is and what it wants to be.

This is one of those times when I regret not having gone through a typical school curriculum/experience. Neutral There's a number of classic books I need to just get around to reading on my own one of these days.
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Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Feb 04, 2015 5:32 am


It was on the reading list for American novels when I did sixth year studies English, but I choose to do Catch 22 instead.

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Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 04, 2015 2:09 pm

Get it, Eldo. It's a surprisingly pleasant read. There's about 100 pages of kids mucking around before you get to the real story, though. But kids mucking around is good, if one of them has the personality of Scout. She's the little tom girl that dreams are made of.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:05 pm

I am ashamed to admit I have never read Mockingbird Embarassed and I cant explain why not.

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Post by halfwise on Wed Feb 04, 2015 4:23 pm

People don't read it because it sounds so damn literary. But it's largely about a little girl who has no filter, which is often unabashed fun. What makes the book a classic is the figure of the father who persists in doing the right thing, even in the face of certain defeat. So it's a tragedy, but told through the vessel of a young irrepressible girl. The resulting magic has rarely been duplicated.

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Post by Forest Shepherd on Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:12 am

Eldorion wrote:
halfwise wrote:Every American student has read To Kill a Mockingbird - it's the quintessential study of what this country is and what it wants to be.

This is one of those times when I regret not having gone through a typical school curriculum/experience. Neutral There's a number of classic books I need to just get around to reading on my own one of these days.

Mm. Same.

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Post by bungobaggins on Thu Feb 05, 2015 2:32 am

Forest Shepherd wrote:
Eldorion wrote:
halfwise wrote:Every American student has read To Kill a Mockingbird - it's the quintessential study of what this country is and what it wants to be.

This is one of those times when I regret not having gone through a typical school curriculum/experience. Neutral There's a number of classic books I need to just get around to reading on my own one of these days.

Mm. Same.

I'm a product of the public school system and standardized education!

{{{Take that for what it's worth.}}}

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Post by halfwise on Thu Feb 05, 2015 5:49 pm

Possible spoilers in GRRM's early letter to his publisher outlining the plot, so though some things definitely came out differently, read if you dare:

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/02/05/the-original-plot-for-game-of-thrones-has-been-revealed

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Post by Bluebottle on Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:05 pm

halfwise wrote:Possible spoilers in GRRM's early letter to his publisher outlining the plot, so though some things definitely came out differently, read if you dare:

http://www.ign.com/articles/2015/02/05/the-original-plot-for-game-of-thrones-has-been-revealed

Whoa. Shocked  I think I'll refrain from reading that, even if they did redact the ending.

I did hear somewhere though, that George originally planned  for a Tyrion, Arya, Jon love triangle. That would have been.. um.. quite strange. Razz

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Post by Mrs Figg on Thu Feb 05, 2015 8:19 pm

I prefer the recent verson, not too keen on the way it would have panned out originally.

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Post by Eldorion on Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:33 am

The only even slightly spoiler thing in that letter (minus the redacted part, which people on reddit are trying to decode) is

Spoiler:
further proof that R+L=J is true, in case anyone is still in denial about that

Otherwise it's all stuff that's either already happened in the show or is up in the air considering how much has changed.

It's an interesting point that the early vision of the series was much closer to the War of the Roses than what the series ended up becoming.  It's implied that Joffrey was a Lannister and there is no mention of the Baratheons. More of a straightforward battle for the throne between York/Stark and Lancaster/Lannister.
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Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:47 am

Spoiler:
Unless J is resurrected it won't effect anything since all involved are now dead. Personally, I think he'll be resurrected as a white walker along the lines of Cold Hands or whatever his name was.

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Post by Eldorion on Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:06 am

Spoiler:
It's kinda funny that after two decades of speculation over Jon Snow's parentage and the greater implications of it, it turns out that the only reason GRRM threw it in was so that he could have a bait-and-switch incestuous romance. Laughing

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I really hope it does end up having some relevance, but I suppose the fans have made it into the massive deal that it is moreso than GRRM himself, since it's rarely been brought up since the first book.
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Post by Bluebottle on Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:12 am


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Post by Bluebottle on Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:14 am

Honestly though, I'm not sure I want to know. Even small things like which characters he originaly envisaged surviving the books. I'd rather find out through the books. Shrugging

That thing might be a lot of fun to read when they're all done though.

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Post by Bluebottle on Fri Feb 06, 2015 5:54 am

This tale grew in the telling, until it became a history of the Great War of the Ring and included many glimpses of the yet more ancient history that preceded it. It was begun soon after The Hobbit was written and before its publication in 1937; but I did not go on with this sequel, for I wished first to complete and set in order the mythology and legends of the Elder Days, which had then been taking shape for some years. I desired to do this for my own satisfaction, and I had little hope that other people would be interested in this work, especially since it was primarily linguistic in inspiration and was begun in order to provide the necessary background of 'history' for Elvish tongues.

When those whose advice and opinion I sought corrected little hope to no hope, I went back to the sequel, encouraged by requests from readers for more information concerning hobbits and their adventures. But the story was drawn irresistibly towards the older world, and became an account, as it were, of its end and passing away before its beginning and middle had been told. The process had begun in the writing of The Hobbit, in which there were already some references to the older matter: Elrond, Gondolin, the High-elves, and the orcs, as well as glimpses that had arisen unbidden of things higher or deeper or darker than its surface: Durin, Moria, Gandalf, the Necromancer, the Ring. The discovery of the significance of these glimpses and of their relation to the ancient histories revealed the Third Age and its culmination in the War of the Ring.
- Foreword, Lord of the Rings, First Edition

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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Feb 06, 2015 1:39 pm

Spoiler:
who is R+L ?

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Post by Bluebottle on Fri Feb 06, 2015 2:40 pm

Having read all the released books in a series (Twice!), I really shouldn't have to look out for spoilers. Mad There's a reason Waterstones had to delete the tweet that was the source of that. Rolling Eyes

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Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:02 pm

Mrs Figg wrote:
Spoiler:
who is R+L ?

Spoiler:
Rhaegor + Lyanna (Ned Stark's Sister) = Jon Snow

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Post by Bluebottle on Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:08 pm

God, this is annoying. Razz I think I'll leave you guys to your discussion. Nod

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Post by halfwise on Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:09 pm

Bluebottle wrote:
This tale grew in the telling, until it became a history of the Great War of the Ring and included many glimpses of the yet more ancient history that preceded it. It was begun soon after The Hobbit was written and before its publication in 1937; but I did not go on with this sequel, for I wished first to complete and set in order the mythology and legends of the Elder Days, which had then been taking shape for some years. I desired to do this for my own satisfaction, and I had little hope that other people would be interested in this work, especially since it was primarily linguistic in inspiration and was begun in order to provide the necessary background of 'history' for Elvish tongues.

When those whose advice and opinion I sought corrected little hope to no hope, I went back to the sequel, encouraged by requests from readers for more information concerning hobbits and their adventures. But the story was drawn irresistibly towards the older world, and became an account, as it were, of its end and passing away before its beginning and middle had been told. The process had begun in the writing of The Hobbit, in which there were already some references to the older matter: Elrond, Gondolin, the High-elves, and the orcs, as well as glimpses that had arisen unbidden of things higher or deeper or darker than its surface: Durin, Moria, Gandalf, the Necromancer, the Ring. The discovery of the significance of these glimpses and of their relation to the ancient histories revealed the Third Age and its culmination in the War of the Ring.
- Foreword, Lord of the Rings, First Edition

I can read Tolkien's introductions to things forever.  The best parts of the book are often a paragraph or two of scene setting, as for Bree, or Minas Tirith.  I once asked Verlyn Fleiger (well known Tolkien scholar) what it was he had that no other writer had, so that every time I tried to study Tolkien's writing to figure out what made it work so well I suddenly found myself at the end of the chapter, having been sucked in and forgotten completely about trying to dissect the writing.  She thought for a moment, then said "talent", and shrugged her shoulders.

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Post by Mrs Figg on Fri Feb 06, 2015 3:45 pm

lots of writers have talent, they may even write better than Tolkien, but he adds something that others can't, if books had a magical spirit of place then Tolkien would be Tom Bombadil. unknowable and will-o-the-wisp

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Post by Bluebottle on Fri Feb 06, 2015 4:08 pm

halfwise wrote:She thought for a moment, then said "talent", and shrugged her shoulders.

I guess that's as good a way to put it as any. Razz

I do feel Tolkien is considerably undervalued as a writer. The impact of his work alone speak for that. I would say the quality too, though that is harder to quantify. George RR Martin made a quite interesting comment as to exactly that not too long ago.


Thing's are definitely changing, but I don't think we're there yet. I've seen an amazing change in my lifetime. When I was young and reading science fiction books in school, I had teachers take it away from me saying "You're a smart kid, why are you reading this garbage. You should be reading real books."

And that was the 1950s and early 1960s. That was kind of the attitude. There are still ghosts of that around. I mean, fantasy and science fiction are now taught in many colleges, they're revived in distinguished publications, places like the Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, the New York Times. 40-50 years ago that wasn't true. If they covered science fiction and fantasy at all, it would be in a special column that appearred once a month. And they would be expected to review 12 books all at once. While the latest big mainstream novel got five pages all to itself. We are seeing that breaking doewn, but were still not there entirerly.

Yes, fantasy and science fiction is taught in colleges. But it's thought in special courses for science fiction and fantasy or in popular culture courses, as part of the popular culture curriculum. We don't see even a book like JRR Tolkiens Lord of the Rings thought in english literature as part of the canon of the great books of english literature. Which it should be. We often say that one of the greatest tests of great literature is "Does it survive over time?" And Tolkien wrote the book in the 40s, it came out in the 50s and here we are in 2014 and millions of people are still reading it. So, I think it has suirvived the test of time. Far more than the books that were lauded and that may won the Nobel prize or the Pulitzer prize or whatever prize they were giving in 1956, but it still hasn't been admitted to canon.

But i think eventually that will come. I don't know if it will come in my lifetime or not, but I can't complain. I have a lot of readers and I have been reviewed in some amazing publications and we have this terrific tv show. So, I'm not going to do a Rodney Dangerfield number on you here.  

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