Tuesday, December 28, 2010

last dash

The only book I got for Christmas was True Grit. I’d asked for it because I am fervently in favor of preventing the movie industry from stealing the goods from the publishing industry. After reading the book I feel free to see the film. I usually try to pull this off, and the only high-profile failure I recall now is Atonement by Ian McEwan. It was a very good movie, and I look at the unread book on the shelf and know it must be at least as good. But unfortunately I know the plot and characters, which damps my enthusiasm.

A day or two before Christmas I also got my contributor’s copies of Bateau (4.1). This is my third time in this journal, which I'm really glad about because I love Bateau. There are a number of prose poems in this issue (mine is a poem poem), and I’m looking forward to reading everything. One of the things I admire about Bateau is the editors decide which order the pieces will appear in, i.e. it’s not alphabetical. That reflects how much thought they put into presenting the journal as a whole.

That said, as with poetry books, I don’t think I ever read journals from first piece to last. At least on first encounter, I open randomly and start reading, or go through the table of contents to find something intriguing. Also in this issue are Carrie Chappell, Ben Merriman, Paige Taggart and John Peck, among many others.


Sandy Longhorn said...

Oh, I love Bateau as well. Congrats!

Jeff said...

I usually go the other way around - if I see an intriguing film but it still leaves some questions, I seek it out in print. The book is always richer since it has more time and space - but having seen the film first, I keep hearing the actors' voices when the characters in the book speak.

I do wish Bateau would put up some selections from the journals. Your poetry and prose is so sweet-to-read all by itself - but would love to see the company you keep. It is wonderful to hear that positioning the printed pieces is more than just a random process. A collected book of good writing is a complete story in itself.

As far as print journals, I thumb open the book and make my decision on the first entry I read. I still haven't learned patience...

- Jeff

SarahJane said...

Jeff - it would be good if Bateau put up some selections, I agree. Also because their journals are so good.

As for seeing the movie first: I think if I had seen The Road before I read it, I never would have read it. I'm the opposite - I don't like actors to take possession of characters. It's fine after I've read it, because then I've already got a set idea and no actor can spoil it.

I lied by the way. I actually got Bob Dylan's "Chronicles" for Christmas, too. Just forgot!

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