March 03, 2008

Alan Weisman's "The World Without Us"

I'm reading the book being promoted in this video... The World Without Us is fun and interesting, and although I'm only about a third of the way thought it, so far it's good enough that, if you asked me, I would recommend it. But I noticed on the author's website that this work of speculative non-fiction is being turned into a movie. So, really, that's what this post is about: the perception that a book is an inadequate, time-consuming or unexciting vehicle for one brain to communicate with another brain, and a movie is the inevitable endpoint of any type of popular narrative artform. Or to put it another way, it doesn't count until it has been made into a movie. I'm so glad that there are books which utterly defy attempts to transform them for the stage or screen. Take Catcher In The Rye, for example. It all takes place in Holden Caulfield's thoughts. It's a book. Not a movie. Not a painting. Not a video game. Not a TV miniseries. Just a book. On a related note, this post on Gawker utterly depresses me (as most Gawker articles do) because it describes bookshelves as "a medium of social interaction... a format for the 'performance of self.'" Oh, fuck you.

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