A movie log formerly known as Bookishness / By Charles Matthews

"Dazzled by so many and such marvelous inventions, the people of Macondo ... became indignant over the living images that the prosperous merchant Bruno Crespi projected in the theater with the lion-head ticket windows, for a character who had died and was buried in one film and for whose misfortune tears had been shed would reappear alive and transformed into an Arab in the next one. The audience, who had paid two cents apiece to share the difficulties of the actors, would not tolerate that outlandish fraud and they broke up the seats. The mayor, at the urging of Bruno Crespi, explained in a proclamation that the cinema was a machine of illusions that did not merit the emotional outbursts of the audience. With that discouraging explanation many ... decided not to return to the movies, considering that they already had too many troubles of their own to weep over the acted-out misfortunes of imaginary beings."
--Gabriel García Márquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Poem of the Day: Edgar Allan Poe

Sonnet--To Science

Science! true daughter of Old Time thou art!
     Who alterest all things with thy peering eyes.
Why preyest thou thus upon the poet's heart,
     Vulture, whose wings are dull realities?
How should he love thee? or how deem thee wise?
     Who wouldst not leave him in his wandering
To search for treasure in the jeweled skies,
     Albeit he soared with an undaunted wing?
Hast thou not dragged Diana from her car?
     And driven the Hamadryad from the wood
To seek a shelter in some happier star?
     Hast thou not torn the Naiad from her flood,
The Elfin from the green grass, and from me
The summer dream beneath the tamarind tree?
--Edgar Allan Poe

Well, okay, Diana and the Hamadryads and Naiads have pretty much bought it. But wouldn't Poe, and the other Romantics who decried the inroads of science on the territory of the mythic be surprised that, at the beginning of the 21st century, our bestsellers are about vampires and wizards and more Americans reportedly believe in angels than in evolution?