ozarque (ozarque) wrote,

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Wednesday; "Gone With The Wind"...

I just want to mention something here, in case you're not already aware of it. I want to mention the extraordinary craftsmanship that's demonstrated by Margaret Mitchell in Gone With The Wind</>. The density of it, and the way everything in it is woven together; the immediacy of it. It's truly remarkable, and I wish I could write that way. It's exactly what I want for Alien Tongues. Mitchell puts you right in the middle of her fictional universe, and is able to keep you there. I know the book is considered a pot-boiler, but I most sincerely wish I could write a post-boiler like that.
Tags: "gone with the wind"
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Yeah. I love that book ... and hate it. It's questionable whether it was worth doing, but it's done so well that it becomes art regardless of its content.
The characters are really vivid.

So vivid that she has to put in huge undigested passages of racist blah-blah, because the characterization leaves no doubt that the moral compass is solidly with the black characters, and that the white characters are either amoral (Scarlett, Rhett, Scarlett's dad) or vague and useless (Aunt Pittypat, Scarlett's dad after her mom dies) or actively evil but thinking they're good (proud Klan member Ashley Wilkes). The only good white person in the whole book is Melanie.

So Mitchell seems like she every now and then has to call this compelling narrative to a screeching halt to throw in some blather about how terrible Reconstruction is, or how some carpetbagging overseer is manipulating naive formerly enslaved black people for his own benefit, or how scary black men and lower-class whites are lurking to rob and rape Scarlett. Just so we don't lose track of who's actually supposed to be the good guys here.

The scene where Ashley joins the Klan is pretty goddamned heinous, though.


9 years ago


9 years ago

Yeah, on the sentence level she's not wonderful, but she has pace and structure that are admirable indeed.
I know just what you mean. She often switches tenses in the middle of sentences, her grammar is *ahem* original and I don't mean that as a compliment, and yet the story just moves.
I may read the book after all. I've avoided it for years because of the content. On the other hand I've seen "The Birth of a Nation" several times for for its cinematographic qualities, so why not?
Apologies for being so far off-topic, Suzette, but I've lost my contact information for you.

I'm most of the way through "The Most Human Human: What Talking With Computers Teaches Us About What It Means To Be Alive," and I'd like to recommend it to you--and anyone else out there.

Philip, my new e-mail address is ocls at cox.net. And that's a letter L, not a numeral 1.
I'm not a Mitchell scholar, but recently I read in NYT smth that I didn't know: Mitchell first wrote the book very chaotically, worked on chapters without chronoligical order etc. Then, when a publisher showed interest after reading some draft chapters, Mitchell and her husband worked a lot on putting the text in order. They hired stenographers, because the work had to be done quickly. Later the draft version was destroyed by Mitchell's husband (after her death, if I recall correctly).
That sounds like an interesting process of creation. I can see how it might produce a result tightly interwoven and well-paced -- if the writers are willing to leave some bits on the cutting room floor.

Actually I visualize the group spreading out all these cards ON the dining room floor, dining table, etc. ;-) Then mixing and matching the cards like puzzle pieces, making their decisions briskly, on grounds other than feeling immersed in the characters' emotions (as an author often feels, especially on early draft).


9 years ago


9 years ago


9 years ago

I apologize for all that bright black type in the post; for some reason, I wasn't able to get rid of it.
If you want to take a stab -- it's the tag at the end of "Gone with the Wind" -- it's just got a / in the angle-brackets, and needs to have a "b" after the /, and it'll be all better.

in the midst of even the most momentous occasions in tumultuous times, the greater part of the world around the main characters of the story are getting on with "life as usual" as best they can; and, unless enfolded into an all-encompassing society, such as the regular army, so are the protagonist(s) and antagonist(s) interacting with this of necessity, else they will most likely not survive.

providing a "life as usual" that is convincing and compelling reading, even whilst events - and quite possibly your major characters - are busy disturbing, upsetting or even destroying this, is a major task for the fantasy, sf & historical novelist.

re-read the novels you rate for their authors' skills in doing this without making info-dumps of an atmosphere-destroying impact; how have they achieved it?

steal the techniques, where appropriate, and modify them to perfect them to your porpoises.

YOu've been quiet for a long time. I hope all is well with you and your husband!
Yes, while I don't want to intrude or pry, I'm concerned at your long silence.

Wishing you well, always.


8 years ago

Stephen R. Marsh

8 years ago


8 years ago


8 years ago


8 years ago


8 years ago

Please add me to the list of those concerned about your silence, hoping fervently that you and your family are well and happy.
She has embraced various bear totems, so I had one sent to her. Delayed as my debit card thought the purchase was fraudulent (why was I sending jewelry to a strange address), but sent now.

No one answers the telephone number I have for her new address, the old was was disconnected instead of transferred.

I will post if I hear anything back. Has anyone bought anything at her on-line art store? I'll try that next as there were a couple more items I wanted to go with the two in the living room.
sfwa org does not show her current e-mail address. bysuzettehadenelgin com did not work for me. If anyone else has news, I'd appreciate it.
I was asked to "tell everyone that she's really sorry, but she just can't communicate anymore. She just can't focus on things well enough to even answer an email, let alone talk to anyone."

Thank you for the sad news, Stephen. I've used lj and fb to propagate it.

Please give her family our love, and give Suzette our gratitude for both the gift of her books and for her blogging. I'm so sorry to hear this news.
I am so very sorry to hear this; my thoughts are with her and her family. Her books gave me great pleasure, and I was grateful to be able to share some portion of her daily life in this LJ.
Oh my. Oh no. Thanks for letting us know. Suzette, George, so many good thoughts and virtual hugs, and if you want some silly songs please have someone send me your e-mail address and I'll send you downloads.
Thank you for letting us know. I am sending good thoughts to her, and the family. Suzette, your work has been so important. <3
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