Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Drive-By Quotes

Some thoughts to chew on...

From skinny, taken from Javier Cercas, The Speed of Light:

…writing well is the opposite of writing pretty phrases. No pretty phrase is capable of expressing truth. Probably no phrase is capable of capturing truth…

And related to above, I found this quote-- buried somewhat in a long post-- by John Scalzi on why simplicity is better than craftiness (i.e. writing pretty):

...which is to say when writers (be they songwriters or authors or playwrights or whomever) say things in a purposefully complex way to show off their skills to a relatively small group of people who will get the joke. That's all fine and good if all you intend to do is to entertain that small group of people solely. If you're planning to get your words out to a larger group, filled with people who don't know your jokes, however, it presents, well, a problem.

From Butch Dalisay, whose article can also be read here (scroll down a bit):

If there’s anything missing in our fiction (especially in English), it’s an awareness and acknowledgment of the fact that we live in a country defined, for most Filipinos, less by malls and coffeeshops than by swaths of coconut, rice, and sugarcane plantations. Even our cities are provincescapes pocked by enclaves of affluence, and as much as the metropolis encroaches and ultimately despoils Nature, many of us remain country boys in city clothes.

The most interesting change in our fiction, I think, will come not so much from the contact between, say, Midsayap and Manila, as between Barrio Wawa in Tanauan, Batangas and Milan in Italy. The cities of our minds have become global cities, and the time has come to write about the Filipino’s journeys through those infernally complex passageways.

An interview with Chris Roberson, that can be linked to Dean's on-going analysis of Philippine Speculative Fiction:

...a writer from outside a culture is never going to write about it with the same level of understanding as someone from inside the culture would, but it isn’t to say that a writer from outside can’t approach a culture with a different level of understanding.

And the BESTEST Transformers the Movie review I've read, from Cherie Priest:

AHHH! AAAAH!!! ROBOTS, OMG ROBOTS and they're FIGHTING and they're all like, PIT-OO, PIT-OO, PIT-OO -- and I'm all LIKE YEAH, THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKIN' ABOUT, and then did you see that one over there -- did you see WHAT HE JUST DID and HOLY SHIT THAT'S OPTIMUS PRIME THAT'S OPTIMUS PRIME LOOKIE HE'S GOT BIG OL' SWORD AND IT'S ORANGE AND ALL KILLY AND STUFF, and that guy who HE'S BEATING LIKE A LITTLE TIN DRUM is MEGATRON and I think that now I can DIE OF AWESOME POISONING because that was more awesome than a whole SWIMMING POOL THAT HAS BEEN FILLED WITH AWESOME, and then someone shoves A PAIR OF GIANT DUELING ALIEN ROBOTS INTO THE SWIMMING POOL, and there's a UNICORN STANDING IN THE BACKGROUND, GRANTING WISHES and SHITTING DIAMONDS.ONLY AWESOMER.

9 comments:

skinnyblackcladdink said...

wow. my work for subjectivity is done.

but on the movie...meh.

Vin said...

Hahahaha! That Transformers Movie review is the best! Thanks for sharing it. :)

Thanks also for the books! Charles has already brought them to me. And he paid you already (he said) so I reimbursed him.

Lastly, is it true what you said about Erikson? Better than George R.R. Martin? I'd like to hear more about that from you. I've seen some of the Malazan books around but I haven't tried any yet.

banzai cat said...

skinny: Of course! One of the better quotes I've read around. Thanks for putting that online.

vin: You're welcome on both counts. ;-)

As for Erikson, well, given GRRM's rather erratic schedule at the moment, I'm getting quite a heady feeling on the Malazan's rather punctual arrival. (See entry on "Reaper's Gale").

And if you're not so bothered by the RPG gaming shadow over this, I think you'll like reading this series. :-)

skinnyblackcladdink said...

er, i meant the Transformers review. too many people dissing subjectivity lately...

banzai cat said...

Ah. Hehe sorry, I'm averse to reading reviews of that movie. I mean, what else is there to expect? It's a movie about giant robots that transform into something else. ;-)

skinnyblackcladdink said...

sigh. we're obviously not talking about the same thing...

Myth said...

Best transformer review Ever. Now I want to see the movie

banzai cat said...

skinny: Uh, obviously. *scratches head*

myth: Hey myth! Welcome aboard. Yeah, Cherie Priest is cool. She writes good books, too. ;-)

(And I still haven't seen the movie meself!)

skinnyblackcladdink said...

apparently, ranting subjectivism in a review is all right if you're only stating the obvious...