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May 2007, Week 4


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 25 May 2007 13:22:05 -0400
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Hi Scott.

No, I'm afraid I can't think of novels from that era ABOUT filmmaking. How far
back do you want to go?

Paul Auster's _Book of Illusions_ is contemporary, so it won't suit your needs,
but you might be interested in reading it for fun. It's about a fictional film
maker from the silent era, Hector Mann, who acts in his own comic films. It's a
dark novel--as so many novels by Auster are-- because Mann's films are slowly
being destroyed. The Auster-narrator is of course obsessed with this
disappearing character, and the book describes both his chase across America to
salvage them and his engrossment in the plots of the films and the filmmaker

_A Face in the Crowd_ by Elia Kazan (1957) is a film, not a novel, about the
corruptions of television, starring Andy Griffith as Lonesome Rhodes. It was a
box office flop because nobody at that time believed that TV could become so
powerful a medium as to allow a shady, rags-to-riches demagogue to rouse and
inspire a nation.  And destroy him in the process. One of my favorite films.


> I was wondering if anyone knows of any novels about early cinema that are from
> the period when such films were new.  I recently read L. Frank Baum's _Aunt
> Jane's Nieces Out West_, which is partly a fictional account of the film scene
> in 1914, but mainly about a man falsely accused of being a jewel thief.  By
> the end I felt I'd learned more about pearls than an early response to the
> film scene by someone who was both an insider and an outsider at the very time
> he wrote the book.  Can anyone think of other examples of this sort of
> fiction? 
> ________________________________________________________________
> Sent via the WebMail system at
> ----
> Learn to speak like a film/TV professor! Listen to the ScreenLex
> podcast:

Sarah Higley
Associate Professor of English
University of Rochester
Rochester, NY 14627
slhi @ mail dot rochester dot edu

Py dydwc glein o erddygnawt vein? 
"What brings a gem from a hard stone?
(Book of Taliesin)

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