Post by jdmackintosh on Aug 28, 2006 20:17:09 GMT -5
Thanks on the Ernesto wish, keeping fingers crossed!
"Even now, after a hundred years, his name alone will start an argument. More significant men of his time can be discussed without passion because they are inextricably woven into a tapestry of the past, but this hotspur refuses to die. He stands forever on that dusty Montana slope." Evan S. Connell, SON OF THE MORNING STAR, page 106.
My take on story telling (good oral tradition) is that qualitatives and quantifiers are fair game--how hot, cold, big, little, many, few, tall, short, late, early, etc. etc. just makes for good stories. But whether the kernel of the story is true, THAT is the criteria of a lyer or not. Whether I say I won a Silver Star in the military or not (I didn't) is either true or it isn't--I either got one or I didn't, I'm either telling the truth or I'm lying--one or the other. Now how many enemy tanks I blew up to get it and how I managed it...well that's open to 'interpretation'. And that depends on who I'd be telling the story to and how I wanted to 'present it'.
Jas, how appropriate that I read an essay by E. L. Doctorow in the Atlantic this morning which dealt with the thin line between history and historical fiction. The prime examples he uses are Homer & Tolstoy.
I carry it around in my heart like the memory of a holy relic ... but what strikes me as funny is that Doctorow is often raked over the coals for doing less than thorough research, particularly with his newest book, The March. I guess his emotional content makes up for fuzzy history!
As for The March, it did take a while to get into it, but turned out to be great reading.
Tryin' to be good, even though my Cubbies are fighting to take the lead away from the Royals in the Fecal League standings!
Post by Dark Cloud on Aug 29, 2006 13:34:20 GMT -5
You can either talk about baseball or the 1996 murder on a board devoted to Custer, but you cannot do both in the same thread. Doctorow is over the line. I can only take so much, even on a day without helicopters.
I don't know how anyone can nod sagely at "History will tell you what happened. Historical Fiction will tell you how it felt." Well-written history will tell you what happened and why and how the people dealt with it.
Historical fiction is, well, fiction. More to the point, most of it is garbage. Vidal and McCullough and a few others can do it because they're utterly at home in the details of their eras, but most historical fiction is on the literary level of graphic novellas, neither good history nor adequate writing. Frankly, it has the same ambitions as porn: to stir utterly predictable and visceral reaction in a clearly understood and targetted readership whose appetites must be met.
Last Edit: Aug 29, 2006 13:42:44 GMT -5 by Dark Cloud
".. all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed...." T.Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
DC ... did someone feed you fried turds this morning?
History is constrained by its very nature, that recording of record; for the most part, it is hard to gauge emotional content of historical players unless they've left such behind in journals, interviews, or other primary source material. History--like it or not--is about people, and people, by nature, are emotional and psychological spheres--and that is the stuff that is so often left out by the participants. We've been over this before at other boards, and frankly, it's getting tiring. We are all interested in Gray's nit-picking timing, but some of us are also interested in how that timing affected the players, and the rules of accurate history tells us we cannot imply those responses; hence the desire (by some) for fiction. I think for many of us, LBH is one of those "how did those last moments feel" kind of thing. Many of us are dragged in by the characters. Some of us by the tragedy. Then again I could be wrong.
Bringing the Custer back into the discussion:
Good Custer Fiction: A Road We Do Not Know, Chiaventone
Bad Custer Fiction: Curse of Destiny: The Betrayal of George Armstrong Custer, Wilhelmsen.
Boring Custer Fiction: Marching To Valhalla, Blake.
Boulder Number of the Day: 3000. That's the approximate dollar cost of Karr's plane ticket from Bangkok to the United States. Then again, y'all are rich.
As I have stated before I am more of a NON-FICTION reader than a FICTION reader . . . nothing against reading a book based on a historical event/character, but in the end I am seeking facts . . . not someone's imaginings of what if.
A couple of quotes on Historical Fiction (Novels)
"It would be ludicrous to argue that the novelist shares the historian's responsibility to account for complications, contradictions, and conundrums. First and foremost, novelists must tell a good story."
"Historical fiction may center on historical or fictional characters, but normally represents an honest attempt based on considerable research (or at least serious reading) to tell a story set in the historical past as understood by the author's contemporaries. Those historical settings may not stand up to the increased knowledge of later historians."
Can't really disagree with you. And LBH--including the characters surrounding it--is one of those circumstances where the truth is stranger than fiction. There's a lot about it you just couldn't make up if you tried!
Hate to see both Ortiz and Manny out of the lineup! I am now forced to vaguely root for the Reds ...
Want it spicy? Make it snappy! Want it spicier? Make it snappy, snappy!
Thanks! You've brought us back to the purpose of this thread ... I'm not sure if he can be considered a true *survivor*, as his horse gave out and I think survivor means one who MIRACULOUSLY outlived the Last Stand proper, but several--okay, a ton of--folks withhold belief when it comes to Peter Thompson. I think his story gives valuable insight into Custer and his hyperactivity, but I am not so sure about anything else.
I am like you, in the middle when it comes to LBH. An open mind helps the process, though I must admit that as Benteen's reputation has improved in my mind, GAC's has withered ... I am still a TWC fan, however.
Just witnessed one of the worst Cub games of the year ... ugh.