Been a very busy couple of weeks and I regret the lack of new posts of late. I will hopefully make up for all that in the coming days, even as the Memorial Day weekend looms large (and busy) in the very near future.
Despite all the mind-numbing hectic nature of the past couple of weeks, I’ve thought of a few of my favorite things. Your mileage, of course, may well vary.
I like quotes. I like clever quotes. Read ’em all the time. Yet if you were to press me for a quote that sticks out in my mind above all the others, I’d have to go with the following, from Ralph Waldo Emerson:
The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons.
A close second? Screenwriter William Goldman’s great quote in describing how it is to work in Hollywood: Nobody knows anything.
Favorite comedy film?
Favorite Horror film?
Probably the original Alien, with honorable mention to Steven Spielberg’s Duel and Jaws.
Favorite Action film?
I’d go with Aliens, with honorable mention to The Killer and Dirty Harry.
Favorite Mystery film?
The Maltese Falcon, followed very closely by Bullitt and Point Blank.
This is a tough one as there are so many authors and so many genres. My all time favorite novel may well be Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness, the novel that was the basis, eventually, for the film Apocalypse Now.
However, I absolutely love the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Two of my favorites of his are The Raven and Eldorado. The later poem hits me every time I read it. I suspect every human being has dreams and ambitions they pursue. But there is a fine line between pursuing one’s dreams and wasting one’s life in folly, which the gallant knight of the story does.
Also love many of the works of H. P. Lovecraft. One of my all time favorite opening lines -and one that give me goosebumps every time I read it- can be found in his short story The Doom That Came To Sarnath:
There is in the land of Mnar a vast still lake that is fed by no stream, and out of which no stream flows. Ten thousand years ago there stood by its shore the mighty city of Sarnath, but Sarnath stands there no more.
These two lines, almost poetic in their cadence, lays out perfectly the story you are about to read. A still, stagnant lake. An old, mighty city that somehow perished. As a reader, I can feel the uneasiness of this scene, and I want to read more.
Then there’s author Raymond Chandler. Of the authors I’ve mentioned, he may well be my favorite author to read. His Phillip Marlowe mystery novels, of which there are only seven (plus Poodle Springs, which was initiated but never completed by him), are chock full of great witty commentary and dry, sarcastic humor. As exemplary as Mr. Chandler’s writing is, the plots of his books tend to be a little…confusing.
In fact, one of the more (in)famous “glitches” in the first Phillip Marlowe novel and subsequent movie, The Big Sleep, is who killed the Sternwood chauffeur. His murderer, indeed, is never revealed. However, the book and the movie are so damn entertaining that, in the end, it doesn’t even matter!
Well, that’s it for now. Be back soon!