Books, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Movies

The discovery of Frank Conroy

No Comments 21 April 2018

The discovery of Frank Conroy

I am excited to have discovered the writer Frank Conroy. You read a few pages of Stop Time and you know you are in the hands of the master. I just bought Body and Soul and started reading it as well. Now I need to make up my mind which of the two books I want to read first. A difficult choice but it seems whatever choice I make, I will not make a difference because both books promise to be fantastic.

Here is a wonderful passage in Body and Soul about key principles of different genres of films.

Westerns. Do not approach a campfire without first announcing yourself from a distance. Do not brag, bully, or lie. Do not draw on an unarmed man, shoot anyone in the back, or steal a horse. Be respectful to women, regardless of their situation in life.

War movies. Democracy is worth dying for. Germans are intelligent, arrogant, ruthless, and sadistic. Japanese are treacherous, cowardly, fanatical, and devoid of individuality. Russians are brave, emotional, and crude. Chinese are simple, domestic, gentle, and the keepers of ancient wisdom. Italians are childlike, the French weak, the British brave and noble. War could be conducted in a civilized manner. American soldiers are the best because of obedience to authority, without any concomitant sacrifice of individual initiative and courage.

Gangster movies. Crime does not pay. Low criminals are stupid and brutal. High criminals are greedy, reckless rebels against the beneficent forces of organized society. The police are good, unless corrupted from below by money or from above by political power. Women are weak, venal, decorative, and irrelevant. Guns, large automobiles, conspicuous consumption in public places, and familiarity with the uses of terror are potent symbols of real power.

Horror movies. Death is obscene. The unknown is dangerous. Destructive forces surround the visible world, and protection is afforded by religion, moral purity, light, and banding together in groups. Luck is an important factor. Courage is foolhardy.

Private-eye movies. The individual is isolated in a hostile world. Anyone may shoot anyone else in the back at any moment. Everyone lies. Greed prevails. It is necessary to be extremely careful at all times.

Cartoons. The weak can prevail over the strong through applied intelligence. Humiliation is intrinsically comic.

Author

Peter

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