Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Party Like it's 1984?

Instead of reading Fablehaven, as I had planned for the weekend, I ended up starting and finishing the book Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell. I had seen the movie about five years ago and always meant to read the book. When my wife brought it home from the library for me, I just couldn't resist.
It was a good novel, definitely one that makes you think. The movie wasn't too far off in most places, but I do believe I liked the book better. It's funny to see how words and phrases go in and out of popularity.
I don't know anyone that actively uses the word 'presently' in their writing. Perhaps Ken at Writing Stuff will bring back a revival of sorts. I remember seeing it a lot more in Lord of the Flies. I couldn't finish that book, it was far too distracting. 'Presently he sat on the log and stared at the breaking waves.' (Of course, that was just a made up example, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was there verbatim.) I can see why the word went out of style. It's all a bit redundant, isn't it? I mean, if the story is moving along and the kid is sitting on the log, why say presently? Is the author afraid we might think that he is sitting on the log in the future or that perhaps the story lurched back to the past somehow? I am baffled by that word.
I did start Fablehaven last night. It is a confusing sort as well. The story so far is inexplicably for younger minds, which is fine. But I am a bit taken aback by certain verbage which seems a tad out of place for the feeling of the story. It's almost as if Brandon Mull is writing a young adult novel, but feels bad about it. And just to ward off any skeptics, he tells us that the wrought-iron fence is topped with fleurs-de-lis. I'm sure it's some kind of viney plant with a little white flowers. At least that's the sort of thing that springs to mind. I take note of it and remind myself to look it up later, then continue reading, totally forgetting my intention until I'm blogging about it the next day. And there are deaths at the beginning of the book that are the result of asphyxiation. That's fantastic. Of course I know what that means now, but if I were reading this book at around 10 or 11 (when I was reading books about this speed) I may have thought that meant they got stuck to their chairs... permanently. I kid, I kid. So far it's been fun and lighthearted, but hey, I gotta get post length somehow, right?

By the way, I was way off. Fleurs-de-lis are little spade looking thingamabobs and such. Look it up. :)

Creative Writing Prompt:

2 comments:

Jim Murdoch said...

Now you really need to watch the excellent adaptation of Nineteen Eighty-Four by Nigel Kneale. I've just finished watching his last Quatermass.

I caught this adaptation the last time the BBC aired it and then I watched the John Hurt version afterwards. Both are pretty faithful to the book but each emphasises different aspects. Peter Cushing is superb as Winston Smith but you have to remember this was made in 1954. It was disturbing enough though to have questions asked in the House of Parliament about censorship. It is still regarded by many as the critical adaptation of the novel.

It breaks down into 15 parts, which are all listed here.

Jena Isle said...

One aspect of writing that I don't like so much is when a writer goes into a lengthy description of something. Instead of the author writing : " The wooden table stood in one corner." The author would go into the details, like describing the width, the length, the appearance of the table, etc.

Books like The Little Prince are simple to read but it allows the reader some profound thoughts of his own. Of course, there would be instances in which the writer has to write a detailed description of a scene.

These are my personal thoughts when I read your post.

I remember George Orwell for The Animal Farm - simple to read but rich in meaning.

Thanks for sharing.