Friday, April 01, 2016

Limits of prose

Here are my current frustrations with prose compared with cinema.

Imagery takes words to express, unlike a movie which can simply exist within a visually striking location and let it be. A novel of Robert Altman's Popeye or Julie Taymor's Titus couldn't have the same qualities.

In another sense there always has to be something happening, even if it's just someone thinking or remembering. I can't imagine how you make Monte Hellman's Two-Lane Blacktop or Jim Jarmusch's Stranger Than Paradise work in that form.

Outside of cinema, I'm also unsure how one might convey the energy of Tank Girl or Judge Dredd in prose form. I know that these series have specific prose novels and they are available for Kindle. I'll have to find out soon how well the talented people who have tried did at that.

If anyone has examples of novels they think tackle these things successfully, I invite you to offer me suggestions.

Right now, I'm viewing all of these divides as challenges. At some point, I might decide they are simply obstacles. I'm not sure what I will do then.

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