ATD Question #19 - Arturo and Sammy

by John Fante

Moderator: Liz

User avatar
Parlez
Posts: 2503
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:30 am
Location: Colorado

Status: Offline

Unread postby Parlez » Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:27 pm

I'm no American Lit major, but I wonder if at this time writers were taking their work to more personal levels in general. I think of Hemingway, whose success came from writing fiction with that kind of personal p.o.v. and inner dialogue going on. Certainly the authors who came after Fante were intensely personal in their writing style...yet their work was usually published as fiction. I wonder if the line between fiction and non-fiction was thin(er) back then. Maybe authors had more poetic license, as it were, if they published their work as 'fiction'. Maybe it protected the publisher as well. In any case, this personal/intimate style seems to have been a rather common construct for a lot of writing from this period of time. So another question might be why??
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa
savvy avi by mamabear

User avatar
suec
Posts: 1381
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 1:57 pm
Location: uk

Status: Offline

Unread postby suec » Wed Dec 05, 2007 2:35 pm

gemini wrote:
How does Fante (not Arturo) see himself when he is so outrageous? How does he feels about his own ego showing through in Arturo?



Since I posed this question, I'll tell you I am still not sure what I think. I really wanted to hear what you thought hoping it would convince me. I re- read the tidbits on Fante and got a lot more out of them now that I have read these books. I am haunted by the paragraph Fante wrote in his later years about Bandini. Is it an admission that he was Arturo and now he is completly changed?

I am torn between him revealing himself in Arturo or using him to emphasize his story.



Gemini, I think it is probably both. Having said that, I am a bit leery of those comments, especially the one about AB being clearly modeled after the author. That reminds me of the "certainty" surrounding Johnny's portrayal of WW and basing it on Michael Jackson. But perhaps that wariness is due to my own lack of knowledge here, and I must admit that the bit about marketing it as nonfiction is quite compelling - and obviously, certain details match. And you have put together a persuasive package. :cool: I don't think I could convince you one way or another, because as I see it, he could very easily be revealing himself as Arturo, and using him to emphasise his story at the same time. Authors do use their characters after all, and I don't think Fante is an exception. And there is too much in the book that is just not realistic at all. I think he has some serious points to make and that there is a purpose to the book that is more than just being a cathartic retelling of personal experience. But a lot of it, in terms of Arturo's nature could be very like him. I don't particularly like Arturo, although that is tempered at times by his finer moments, but I don't hold that against Fante. I can think of things I have done, of which I am truly ashamed and I think of them with real regret now - but I still did them. I also think that some regret is shown by Arturo at various points, although he doesn't exactly reform straight away. Perhaps the regrets are Fante's? Perhaps it is because Arturo is on a journey where he does reform and progress, eventually, and we are seeing a work in progress here?
"Luck... inspiration... both only really happen to you when you empty your heart of ambition, purpose, and plan; when you give yourself, completely, to the golden, fate-filled moment."

User avatar
gemini
Posts: 3907
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Status: Offline

Unread postby gemini » Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:08 pm

suec wrote:
Gemini, I think it is probably both. Having said that, I am a bit leery of those comments, especially the one about AB being clearly modeled after the author. That reminds me of the "certainty" surrounding Johnny's portrayal of WW and basing it on Michael Jackson. But perhaps that wariness is due to my own lack of knowledge here, and I must admit that the bit about marketing it as nonfiction is quite compelling - and obviously, certain details match. And you have put together a persuasive package. :cool: I don't think I could convince you one way or another, because as I see it, he could very easily be revealing himself as Arturo, and using him to emphasise his story at the same time. Authors do use their characters after all, and I don't think Fante is an exception. And there is too much in the book that is just not realistic at all. I think he has some serious points to make and that there is a purpose to the book that is more than just being a cathartic retelling of personal experience. But a lot of it, in terms of Arturo's nature could be very like him. I don't particularly like Arturo, although that is tempered at times by his finer moments, but I don't hold that against Fante. I can think of things I have done, of which I am truly ashamed and I think of them with real regret now - but I still did them. I also think that some regret is shown by Arturo at various points, although he doesn't exactly reform straight away. Perhaps the regrets are Fante's? Perhaps it is because Arturo is on a journey where he does reform and progress, eventually, and we are seeing a work in progress here?



I agree with all you say here, especially the part that it is probably both , some of Fante, and some just Artruo. I am not happy with Arturo much of the time either and would feel better if he were fiction. I suppose the line between the two will never be known.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers

Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

User avatar
gemini
Posts: 3907
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Status: Offline

Unread postby gemini » Wed Dec 05, 2007 3:10 pm

Parlez wrote:I'm no American Lit major, but I wonder if at this time writers were taking their work to more personal levels in general. I think of Hemingway, whose success came from writing fiction with that kind of personal p.o.v. and inner dialogue going on. Certainly the authors who came after Fante were intensely personal in their writing style...yet their work was usually published as fiction. I wonder if the line between fiction and non-fiction was thin(er) back then. Maybe authors had more poetic license, as it were, if they published their work as 'fiction'. Maybe it protected the publisher as well. In any case, this personal/intimate style seems to have been a rather common construct for a lot of writing from this period of time. So another question might be why??

It's a great way to have your autobiography written if you aren't famous enough to have someone else do it.

Sorry, that was just my first thought. Let me put on my thinking cap and try again.
Isn't your work better if you write about something you know? Not everyone in that era could afford to get around like Hemmingway, so they were limited to family life and morals. I think Fante was one of the few who didn't write family life like Mary Poppins, hence the realism.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers



Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Wed Dec 05, 2007 9:54 pm

nebraska wrote: I think we all reveal some parts of ourselves each time we answer one of these questions. I did it in specific terms, referencing what I was going through at the moment, discussing anger management, but I think on some level we all relate the things we read and the questions we answer to our own experiences.

I know I do, Nebraska. :blush:

gemini wrote:I am torn between him revealing himself in Arturo or using him to emphasize his story.

Gemini, I think an author can do both. And I think we are reasonably sure that much of it is auto-biographical. We just don't know which parts. The same thing goes for Shantaram. :eyebrow:

I want to remind you all of a tidbit I posted before Wait Until Spring, Bandini, which most of you may have avoided because I indicated there was an ATD spoiler in it. I don't know how true it is, but it's certainly interesting.

Tom Christie interviewed Fante back in 1979. Note what Fante shared with Christie:


An editor at the Weekly named Tracy Johnston — we would later work together at California magazine — agreed to an interview with the old man. And so it was that I watched that football game with Fante, and talked Bandini. And movies (Fante had made his living writing them), and Bukowski and the screenwriter Robert Towne, with whom Fante had a tempestuous relationship. (Actually, most of Fante’s relationships seemed to be tempestuous.) And Fante shared a little literary secret: He had lived Bandini’s story with Camilla, and now he thought he understood the conflict between them — she was a lesbian.

Apparently he had tempestuous relationships with men too.

For the full article:


http://www.johnnydepp-zone.com/boards/viewtopic.php?t=35076
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.

User avatar
fansmom
Posts: 2059
Joined: Sat Jul 10, 2004 4:50 pm
Location: Olney, Maryland

Status: Offline

Unread postby fansmom » Wed Dec 05, 2007 10:09 pm

Liz wrote:And Fante shared a little literary secret: He had lived Bandini’s story with Camilla, and now he thought he understood the conflict between them — she was a lesbian.
Thanks, Liz, I had forgotten that.

Now, do we think Camilla was really a lesbian, or is that just that old label that men give to women who won't sleep with them?

User avatar
gemini
Posts: 3907
Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2006 9:28 pm
Location: Florida
Contact:

Status: Offline

Unread postby gemini » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:31 pm

fansmom wrote:
Liz wrote:And Fante shared a little literary secret: He had lived Bandini’s story with Camilla, and now he thought he understood the conflict between them — she was a lesbian.
Thanks, Liz, I had forgotten that.

Now, do we think Camilla was really a lesbian, or is that just that old label that men give to women who won't sleep with them?

Why is that the exact thought I had when reading this? The tempestuous relationships reminds of his alter ego Arturo. Also that his son left home and seems to have had the same rough life that Fante describes of himself through Arturo.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers



Growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.

User avatar
Parlez
Posts: 2503
Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:30 am
Location: Colorado

Status: Offline

Unread postby Parlez » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:40 pm

If true, it could be that Camilla turned lesbian after her encounter with Arturo/Fante! His behavior would be enough to turn anyone off men! :thumbsdown:
"Belay that! ...Do something else!" ~ Hector Barbossa

savvy avi by mamabear

User avatar
nebraska
Posts: 28311
Joined: Tue Jul 06, 2004 8:15 pm
Location: near Omaha

Status: Offline

Unread postby nebraska » Wed Dec 05, 2007 11:50 pm

Parlez wrote:If true, it could be that Camilla turned lesbian after her encounter with Arturo/Fante! His behavior would be enough to turn anyone off men! :thumbsdown:


:applause2: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh:

Ok, still have mr nebraska on my naughty list!!!

User avatar
Liz
ONBC Moderator
Posts: 12971
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2004 2:13 pm
Location: The Left Coast

Status: Offline

Unread postby Liz » Thu Dec 06, 2007 11:24 am

nebraska wrote:
Parlez wrote:If true, it could be that Camilla turned lesbian after her encounter with Arturo/Fante! His behavior would be enough to turn anyone off men! :thumbsdown:


:applause2: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh: :biglaugh:

Ok, still have mr nebraska on my naughty list!!!


:rotflmao: :rotflmao:
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.


Return to “Ask the Dust”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest