Midnight Writers

on August 1, 2011 in Misc

Okay, so today I went to the library and checked out several books on hand-to-hand self defense books.   Most of the photos in them show two tough-looking guys with their hands on each other in a whole lotta different places.   But I’ll tell you more about that in a couple days.

What I’d rather talk about right now is a fun movie for writers:   Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris. Saw it on Sunday and loved it.   And I could SO identify with the hero/protagonist Gil (Owen Wilson).   He’s not sure about the novel he’s written.   Is it good?  Very bad?   Mildly sucky-poo?   He’s also surrounded by some people he’d rather not be with and who are doing their best to ruin his time in Paris.   He wants to move to Paris.    Hell, he wants to go back to Paris of the 1920’s so badly that he makes it happen.

Yes, this being a movie, he gets his wish.   And OMG, could I identify with that!   One of my ideas of heaven is Paris in the 20’s.

He goes back in time repeatedly, and Paris becomes his Hemingway-dubbed moveable feast.   ‘Cause he meets Hemingway.   And F. Scott Fitzgerald and Zelda.   And T.S. Eliot and Picasso and Dali and Buñuel and Man Ray and Cole Porter.   And I know I’m leaving others out (James Joyce?).   And he gets his book read by Gertrude Stein (played gloriously by Kathy Bates).   I mean, Paris in the 20’s was crammed full of these people and more, and they KNEW EACH OTHER AND HUNG OUT WITH EACH OTHER!

And this is why Paris in the 20’s is legendary among writers and artists.

But yes, of course, there’s a lesson to be learned about yearning for the past and preferring it to the present.   Hence Gil has a lesson to learn and a choice to make.   And the ending is sweet and rather fairy tale but hell, it’s the ending I wanted.

So what about you?  Any writer fantasies you secretly harbor?   Writer and artists you could meet and hang out with.   Times to go back to.   Or forward to.   I think we all have our secret ideal (or idealized?) literary worlds.   And legendary people like Gertrude Stein or Hemingway to read our manuscripts and give us wise feedback.

7 Responses to “Midnight Writers”

  1. Hart says:

    Oh, that sounds like a great time to visit. I sort of love the idea of getting into that ‘who can write the better book’ think where Mary Shelley ended up writing Frankenstein. I’d love to have close friends that all of us thought that would be a fun wager…

    When I consider all that though, I then remember women’s former role–I have such a hard time stomaching women in a subservient role…

  2. Helena says:

    Hart — You’re right about women in other time periods, and that’s when the present looks much better. Kinda the message in the movie, too.

  3. Ciara Knight says:

    Great point, ladies. I’d love to meet JK Rowling. Who wouldn’t? :)

  4. Helena says:

    Ciara – I’d love to meet her, only I’d be so overwhelmed.

  5. Robert L. Read says:

    I’d like to have child enjoy my book.

    But aside from that, I would like to meet James Branch Cabell. I would also like to start a writers sobriety league to keep Hemingway and Fitzgerald from ruining themselves with the demon rum.

    I want to meet Robert Browning. I want to sail with Byron and Shelley.

  6. Helena says:

    Robert — Okay, sail with Shelley, but don’t drown with him. I love that you’re into the romantic poets — an impressive group of some non-conformists.

  7. Ciara Knight says:

    I know what you mean. I’d probably not be able to speak. :)