TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

by Arturo Perez-Reverte

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:39 am

pg. 210: Nikon’s words as told to the reader by Corso,

“Films are for everyone, collective, generous, with children cheering when the cavalry arrives. They’re even better on TV: two can watch and comment. But your books are selfish. Solitary. Some of them can’t even be read, they fall to bits if you open them. A person who’s interested only in books doesn’t need other people, and that frightens me.”

Do you agree or disagree?
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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Sun Aug 10, 2008 11:41 am

Certainly the sort Corso was interested in I think that I would agree to and I think that was what Nikon was referring too. But its very rare for someone to be only interested in books so I would also disagree too. Interestingly though reading books doesn't have to be solitary does it ?after all what are we doing here. But I can also see that getting lost in an imaginary world could be quite insular, sometimes you need to come up for air back into the real world.

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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby Angelina » Sun Aug 10, 2008 1:42 pm

I think, I completely disagree. When I read TCD, for me this remark presented Nikon as a very narrow reader and viewer (or, in the best case, as a very lone person, who can’t understand a self-sufficiency of others). Many readers read books exactly because they need other people too much, and want to know them better. And they want to know better the world. The definition “selfish” hardly is a right description for such people. About films - Nikon also does a mistake, she means only a part of a cinematography: blockbusters, and successful blockbusters in the same time. But serious films, films of art-house, many people also don’t want to comment at once – sometimes they want to save their impressions for themselves.

I didn’t like, Nikon does some opposition here – or only a collective entertainment, or only a solitary reflection. But I think, one thing doesn’t precludes other – you can love a blockbusters and applaud to an arriving of the cavalry, and you can love some philosophical books and movies simultaneously. How many people here adore by “Dead Man” and “Pirates”at the same time?
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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Sun Aug 10, 2008 2:23 pm

Given my ONBC hobby I have to say I don't see books as solitary. :lol: On the other hand I can see how some people would rather read than interact and of course each reader brings his interpretations and takes away his own conclusions so it is an idividual experience. While films are generally more of a shared expience they are still interpreted differently by each individual who views them. Given Corso's profession and singlemindedness, I can see why Nikon might feel that way about him.

Of course some of us are more like minded than others...
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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby Parlez » Sun Aug 10, 2008 3:21 pm

I get the feeling Nikon is complaining about more than just Corso's obsession with books here. I think she would like to be the focus of his one-pointed, driven, consuming attention. Plus she refers to the books as being selfish and solitary, not Corso. It's his relentless pursuit of inanimate objects that she's upset about.

I've spent a fair amount of time browsing in bookstores and I always feel somehow connected to the other people there who are likewise hanging out. I feel the same way when I go to the cinema, or to the theatre, or on a carnival ride for that matter. Everyone's there, sharing the same experience, but in the end we all go our own way without sharing a word. It's a very strange dynamic when you think about it!

So I guess I agree with Nikon, assuming it's a loaded statement, fraught with more meaning than meets the eye. Generally speaking, people who spend their free time alone reading books are solitary people. Which is not to say they're disconnected from other people.
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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby suec » Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:20 pm

Well, he isn't only interested in books; he also likes re-enacting Waterloo - another solitary activity for him. I think the two together are rather telling. After all, an avid reader, such as Johnny is for example, needn't be a loner. It depends on how else a person spends their time. And going to the cinema can both a shared experience and a solitary one at the same time. I think Nikon's comment is an over-simplification. She is hurt and angry with him, because he doesn't want a child so she lashes out at what she perceives he holds dear. And she is starting to think of him in that negative way because she has decided to leave him. That's how I think it goes, anyway. Having said that, he is pretty solitary, and feeling it too.
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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby Liz » Sun Aug 10, 2008 4:39 pm

I tend to agree with Parlez and suec that Nikon's statement is a loaded one and is over-simplified. She is focusing on his books because she may blame his profession for all the things wrong in their relationship.

I think that both reading and film can be solitary…..or not. It depends on the extent to which they rule one’s life. One could say the same for TV, computers and video games.
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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby nebraska » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:27 pm

I think Nikon is focusing her feelings on something safe - Corso's devotion to books and all of that - instead of what is really upsetting her. But the matter of being solitary as a reader probably has some validity. Unless one is reading aloud in a group, I would say reading is a solitary activity. It is just you and your imagination alone with the book. What we do here at ONBC is post-reading activity.

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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby gemini » Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:34 pm

Well, I sort of took offense as I felt that her remarks were against all book lovers. I do agree that books can be solitary but so can movies if you really get into them. I agree with those of you who mentioned that ONBC is a perfect example of making books more enjoyable by sharing the experience. She may have learned to love books too if Corso had shared his obsession with her. Her last statement
"A person who’s interested only in books doesn’t need other people, and that frightens me.”

This actually is true but I don't think that many people who love books are adverse to films or other hobbies or taking time to socialize. I love people but I still love books even if they are enjoyed only when I am alone. I do have a problem reading when anyone else is around because I can not truly escape.

Some of you readers with husbands may understand more of Nikons resentment because a lot of reading would require sharing your time between a person and books. Obviously Nikon couldn't stand the competition.
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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby fansmom » Sun Aug 10, 2008 10:25 pm

It's an awfully interesting thing for a character in a book to say, and it reminds me of a discussion we had of plagarism. (Was it for our first story, SWSG? That would make sense, I suppose.) We discussed the fact that writers tend to write what they know, and that all of life is fair for them to discuss. Should authors be "allowed" to put conversations from their own lives into their works? Could there be someone in AP-R's life who resented his love for books?

My brother-in-law said something similar to his wife last summer when we were sharing a beach house. "Put down that book; reading is anti-social. Come watch TV with me." Made me quite glad I'm married to his brother and not to him.

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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Mon Aug 11, 2008 1:54 am

I must say I decided early on I didn't like Nikon much her statements were very sweeping. I agree though it's something she focuses on to blame in their relationship.
Also Gemini although I didn't take offece it certainly put the hacckles up. :cool:

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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby Angelina » Mon Aug 11, 2008 2:03 am

Gilbert's Girl
I must say I decided early on I didn't like Nikon much her statements were very sweeping.

Me too, although I agree with Suec:
I think Nikon's comment is an over-simplification. She is hurt and angry with him, because he doesn't want a child so she lashes out at what she perceives he holds dear.

I agree – most probably, books and films aren’t guilty here, but the loneliness Nikon with Corso. Yes, sometimes, when our nearest attack on our dearest hobby, they don’t mean it – they just miss us and want our attention. Although, some of them could be more tactful. :lol:
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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby radwen » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:23 am

In the context of this story I agree. Corso is a solitary character and has chosen to be this way. The characters of his books are more real to him than the actual people he must interact with.

Remember, she says "...interested only in books". For many, our life is more well balanced with additional interests.

I believe the main reason to have Nikon in the story is to point to these flaws in Corso's personality.
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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:01 am

radwen wrote:In the context of this story I agree. Corso is a solitary character and has chosen to be this way. The characters of his books are more real to him than the actual people he must interact with.

Remember, she says "...interested only in books". For many, our life is more well balanced with additional interests.

I believe the main reason to have Nikon in the story is to point to these flaws in Corso's personality.



I think she was also there to show that Corso could be distracted by another that he wasn't always so solitary that he let someone into his life if only briefly. That maybe he has a chink of humanity.

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Re: TCD Question #7 ~ Films vs. books

Unread postby radwen » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:13 am

I agree, GG :cool:
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