Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

by Daniel Depp

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Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jan 21, 2011 3:31 pm

From the Epigraph:

Popular culture is the new Babylon, into which so much art and intellect now flow. It is our imperial sex theater, supreme temple of the western eye. We live in the age of idols. The pagan past, never dead, flames again in our mystic hierarchies of stardom. ~ Camille Paglia

I asked how he chose the title of the book. He related Hollywood and Cannes to Babylon. How could one argue with that? He said that there were a couple of quotes/passages (not sure of the exact word he used) in the book that tie in to the relationship to Babylon. Well,they didn’t jump out at me. Were you able to find them? And if not, can you see any aspect of the story that could be related to Babylon?
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby fireflydances » Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:22 pm

Well I've been sitting here thinking and nothing is coming out. But they have to be there. Go back to the original quote about Babylon from the bible perhaps? I'm gonna eat dinner and think some more. (Cold cold night and nice hot Chinese food, yum!)
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby fansmom » Fri Jan 21, 2011 10:32 pm

By Babylon, did he just mean a decadent city?

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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Jan 21, 2011 11:49 pm

Decadent city or as he says culture in general? I didn't mark any passages that relate directly to this other than the epigraph. If I had known this was going to be a question I would have taken beter notes. :grin:
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:41 am

And I knew it was going to be a question from the beginning, and I didn't keep a sharp enough eye. I think I got wrapped up in the story and forgot, to be honest. :perplexed:
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby Bix » Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:30 pm

I have to say I can't think of anything right off hand either. My aunt is coming for the weekend and I have been frantically cleaning and shopping, so I don't have time to sit down with the book and look for any references. Maybe tomorrow evening. (Or maybe by then someone else will have done it. :innocent: )
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby nebraska » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:00 pm

I certainly thought the epigraph was appropriate in general for the Hollywood madness, but couldn't come up with anything specific either.......unless it was the part where he wrote about walking on the red carpet with the flashes going off and the yelling and stuff. Maybe I should go look at that passage, but I doubt if Babylon is represented there..... :perplexed:

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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby fireflydances » Sat Jan 22, 2011 2:21 pm

Yeah, I give up too. I agree with Nebraska that his portrayal of the 'underbelly' of the entertainment industry fits the epigraph. Now, I did find an interesting collection of links that further explores the metaphor. I attach it here. Followed one trail to an interesting piece on press junkets. Ewwish though insightful. :-O

What are the pillars of Hollywood Babylon?
(You need to go below the little highlighted 'ad' and start reading the question. The links are within the responses: like the 'press junket' one is there as a lightly highlit phrase "this description of a press junket." I haven't had time to explore the others.)



Edit: to add the link description and add missing letter.
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:00 pm

You can certainly see why the actors aren't so fond of these experiences!
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby fireflydances » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:08 pm

Absolutely. The whole Hollywood scene is repellingly fascinating, if you can hang two descriptors like that. Half of me is like, nah can't be as bad as the gossip mongers make it, has to be hyped to sell things and then you peek into one of these little boxes and before you know it you're backing away going 'you got to be kidding me". It is rather like thinking about scorpions isn't it??

Edit: Misspell finally detected after long nap. Is this what it's coming to?
Last edited by fireflydances on Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby nebraska » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:13 pm

Liz wrote:From the Epigraph:

Popular culture is the new Babylon, into which so much art and intellect now flow. It is our imperial sex theater, supreme temple of the western eye. We live in the age of idols. The pagan past, never dead, flames again in our mystic hierarchies of stardom. ~ Camille Paglia

I asked how he chose the title of the book. He related Hollywood and Cannes to Babylon. How could one argue with that? He said that there were a couple of quotes/passages (not sure of the exact word he used) in the book that tie in to the relationship to Babylon. Well,they didn’t jump out at me. Were you able to find them? And if not, can you see any aspect of the story that could be related to Babylon?


This will be a good question for Daniel in the event he consents to a Q&A!

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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby nebraska » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:18 pm

DeppInTheHeartOfTexas wrote:You can certainly see why the actors aren't so fond of these experiences!

Even without looking at the links, consider how Johnny answers the same questions over and over and over with a sweet smile and a pleasant attitude......working with the public :grr: been there done that myself .......... in this case the interviewers who are doing their boring job trying to score a big revelation, sidestepping inappropriate personally invasive questions with grace.......To me it is appalling that the actor can't go do his job, which is to act, and must do the studio's PR work as well. And be paraded around like a circus animal on display.

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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby Theresa » Sat Jan 22, 2011 3:45 pm

I read the two passages Daniel used for the epigraph--and then did a search through the Bible for more passages on Babylon to get a bit more information. It was a city of great wealth and trade; and home to many pagan temples and idol worship. In Revelation 18:3 (the downfall of Babylon), an angel describes Babylon this way:

    "For all the nations have drunk the maddening wine of her adulteries. The kings of the earth committed adultery with her, and the merchants of the earth grew rich from her excessive luxuries.”

So here's one passage that might relate Hollywood to Babylon...maybe?

From Part 2, Chapter 1-- some excerpts from when Anna first arrived at the villa in Cannes:


    L.A. was where the work was, where the deals were made, where your people were, and where you were expected to be.

    Everybody in Hollywood talked about the joys of Europe, but you spent too much time there and they started looking at you like you were a foreigner yourself [...] They needed you to be as obsessed and frightened as they were, or else they couldn't trust you. [...] They needed you hungry--for love, for fame, for drugs, for money, they didn't care, as long as they knew you remained desperate for something they could dangle like a carrot over your head. No, it never paid to get too far away from the place.

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Re: Babylon Nights Question #15 ~ Babylon

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:14 pm

Thanks for your efforts to try to find these quotes/passages, Noodlemantras.

Firefly, thanks for the link to that article on press junkets. It was quite an eye opener.

T, thanks for the quote from scripture. It certainly ties into to the whole press junket process.

If anyone comes upon anything else that jumps out in the book, please give a holler. We can revisit this question at any time during the discussion or after.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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