BetterMost, Wyoming & Brokeback Mountain Forum

Brokeback Mountain: Our Community's Common Bond => Brokeback Mountain Open Forum => Topic started by: Frank H on October 06, 2006, 03:35:09 pm

Title: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Frank H on October 06, 2006, 03:35:09 pm
In her kind welcome to myself to this forum, Katherine (to whom I send belated birthday greetings), mentioned that "Wuthering Heights" is also her favourite novel, and suggested that a thread be started on the similarities between this novel and the movie "Brokeback Mountain".

It so happens that on the IMDb forum, which I infrequently visit, a thread was started titled "BBM – a one of a kind film?". This is based on the reply I posted:

BBM is not the only movie that has moved me to tears, but it is the one which has affected me the most, so that weeks after first seeing it, I still think about it most days. No other movie has had that effect.

The only other comparable experience for me was when I first read "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte, many years ago. That so affected me that I couldn't read another novel for many months after.

There are many similarities between the film BBM and the novel "Wuthering Heights" (incidentally all of the attempts to make a movie of Emily Bronte's novel have failed miserably to capture its essence). In looking at some of the comments on Wuthering Heights by critics, I am struck as to how, in so many cases, similar comments could be made about BBM.

Here is one such:
"Bronte may lead us to question whether there is any one natural and social order, the same for all men and women. The conflicting individual heavens and hells confront one another at every turn: incompatible ways of life, coupled in grotesque ways which sometimes lead to violence and hysteria, sometimes to lifeless neutrality and sometimes to new and fuller forms of life. Yet the novel is instinct with a sense of life's intensity and resilience, even defiance, in the face of misery and death. It makes no exclusive moral judgements, except, perhaps, one of hostility towards all complacent assumptions and artificial schemes of salvation. It leaves us with a host of unanswered questions and embodies no consistent philosophy of life. But the perfection of form is such that every event seems inevitable, and its subjective heavens and hells are raised to a level of universality." (Frank Goodridge).

Replace "Bronte" with BBM, and "novel" with "film", and I think that could apply pretty well to this remarkable movie.

Another scholar (W.A.Craik) remarks about Emily Bronte's remarkable novel: "The novel is curiously sterile; it has no imitators of stature, and has had no influence on the novel after itself. One re-reads Wuthering Heights and responds and wonders, but one not only feels that Emily Bronte could not have written another novel, one does not even desire it - any more than one desires another King Lear".

Again, you could replace the novel Wuthering Heights with the film BBM, and "Emily Bronte" with the group of people together responsible for BBM, and I suspect that that will hold true for BBM. Other films will probably be made taking up one or more of the themes explored in BBM - but I suspect that none will ever approach its particular mysterious power. It will thus remain "one of a kind" - in the movie category, in the same way as "Wuthering Heights" has remained "one of a kind" as a novel.

The Craik comment on "Wuthering Heights" does break down in one respect vis-a-vis BBM. It is quite clear from various forums that there are many people desiring, longing for, more stories and movies to try to re-visit BBM. While understanding this, I do feel that such desires are doomed to be disappointed. Brokeback Mountain is, like Wuthering Heights, a mysterious and elusive place - the sort of place which if we try to seek, we won't find - a place which wonderfully and miraculously has to come to us.

Frank
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: moremojo on October 06, 2006, 05:16:18 pm
Wonderful post, Frank, and a promising idea for a thread. I really like what you wrote here: "Brokeback Mountain is, like Wuthering Heights, a mysterious and elusive place - the sort of place which if we try to seek, we won't find - a place which wonderfully and miraculously has to come to us." That's one similarity between both works--both are named after places which resonate with a mysterious, even numinous power. These places help shape the stories of Ennis and Jack, and Heathcliff and Cathy, respectively, but go on to function almost as characters in their own right, but in ways that are mysterious and difficult to articulate.

Another parallel, which you yourself have cited in a previous post, is that both works trace love stories that are ensconced within a particular place and time, but intimate a level of experience that transcends space and time. One senses that Ennis and Jack are soulmates, likewise for Heathcliff and Cathy, and there is a strong indication (particularly in Bronte) that theirs is a love that will endure in Eternity.

Yet another similarity is that both stories depict passionate, tragic affairs which end in death and grief for the protagonists, but (and here I invoke the film Brokeback Mountain, as opposed to the Proulx story) in which the torch of happiness and hope is passed onto the younger generation, suggesting that the unresolved issues of the elders will find fulfillment within the lives of the children.  Hareton and young Catherine will likely know the connubial bliss that eluded Heathcliff and Cathy, just as Alma Junior will have the experience of living openly with the man who loves her, a joy denied and unknown to her father.

Thank you so much for initiating this thread. I look forward to the discussion which it hopefully will engender.

Sincerely,
Scott   
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Frank H on October 09, 2006, 12:56:01 pm
Scott, many thanks for your post. What you have written resonates very much with feelings and thoughts I have had about the Brokeback Mountain (BBM) film.

You write:
Yet another similarity is that both stories depict passionate, tragic affairs which end in death and grief for the protagonists, but (and here I invoke the film Brokeback Mountain, as opposed to the Proulx story) in which the torch of happiness and hope is passed onto the younger generation, suggesting that the unresolved issues of the elders will find fulfillment within the lives of the children.  Hareton and young Catherine will likely know the connubial bliss that eluded Heathcliff and Cathy, just as Alma Junior will have the experience of living openly with the man who loves her, a joy denied and unknown to her father.

In this one paragraph you touch on two issues which I find especially illuminating. Firstly, how much does the film BBM differ from the original Proulx story, and how important are the differences? Secondly (tied in with the first question to an extent), does the ending of BBM include a dimension of hope, and how important is that? In discussion of these the novel  Wuthering Heights will also be relevant.

I have now seen the film through a number of times. I have as yet only read entirely through the Annie Proulx story once, although I have carefully re-read particular sections.

My impression as it stands is that there is rather more difference between the short story and the film than seems to be admitted by many. This difference involves both details of the story, and the characters involved in the story. And the changes are actually not just minor details, but are ones which spring from an underlying philosophical difference. That this is apparent despite the fact that a lot of the dialogue in the short story translates almost directly to the film, is an indication of just how subtly it has been done. In the extra features on the current DVD, Diana Ossana states that it is still “Annie’s story”, and of course it basically is – but I believe that what the film has done has so transformed it that it has now acquired a very important extra dimension (or dimensions). In brief I feel that the film BBM transcends the short story.

I am still in the process of working out for myself why I feel this, using of course many insights from posters on the various BBM forums. As regards the particular insights derived by comparison with Wuthering Heights (WH), I believe that the closest similarity – by some way – is between the novel WH and the film BBM. The Proulx story BBM actually stands rather at a distance from these. Even further away – not even on the same planet – stand the various attempts to portray WH on screen (all, in my opinion, more or less dismal failures - perhaps inevitably so).

To put it at its simplest, I believe that the film BBM has a strong metaphysical dimension largely (although not completely) lacking in the short story. In metaphysicizing the BBM story, the film thereby aligns itself much more closely with the novel WH. As for the various WH films, they all fail to represent the strong – indeed all-pervasive – metaphysical dimension of the novel. They thereby manage to transform one of the most remarkable works of genius in the English Language into nothing more than standard romantic fiction (is “chick-lit” the current term for such stuff?). There is nothing necessarily wrong with standard romantic fiction – but neither WH nor BBM fall into that category. It rather annoys me to find Emily Bronte so often put into the same category as writers such as Daphne du Maurier. In fact, Charlotte Bronte does fall into that category (in a very superior fashion) – but Emily emphatically does not.

If I post further in this thread, I may go on to consider how I think the movie BBM manages to transcend the original story. The importance of Alma Jr (is it significant that she is the last living person to be seen in the film, apart from Ennis himself?) is certainly one factor. Another is the subtle but significant changes made in the characters of the two main heroes. (Just for starters – I cannot imagine the Ennis of the BBM film ever calling Jack – or anyone apart, perhaps, from his daughters –  “little darlin”)

For now - here is another comment on the WH novel from a distinguished literary critic [from Lord David Cecil : Early Victorian Novelists]:

"Wuthering Heights - the very name is enough to set the imagination vibrating. We hear it perhaps spoken in a London street, for a moment the intricate roar of traffic and chattering people fades into stillness: and instead our mental ear is filled by the rush of streams, the shock and reverberation of thunder, the whistling of the wind over the moors. Nor is the sound fainter to us than it was to its contemporaries. Alone of Victorian novels Wuthering Heights is undimmed, even partially, by the dust of time. Alone it stirs us as freshly today as the day it was written"

That comment was first published in 1934, 87 years after the publication of Wuthering Heights. Another 72 years have passed, and that comment reads as true today.

Will similar comments be written about the film Brokeback Mountain in 2092? In 2164? I would like to think so - and I can think of no film I have ever seen which would deserve them more - for it seems to me to stand as alone among the films of the present era, as Wuthering Heights stood as a novel in its era.

That’s enough for now.

Best Wishes to yourself, and to all lovers of BBM and WH.

Frank
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on October 11, 2006, 06:02:12 pm
Hi Frank, thanks for the birthday greeting, and thanks for starting this thread. Great posts. Yours too, Scott. Yes, WH is my favorite novel. I've read it countless times, though not lately. (It was seeing the movie -- the Timothy Dalton one, not the Laurence Olivier one -- that first prompted me to read it, but you're right, neither film does justice to the novel. Maybe Ang Lee should direct a version! And while he's at it, Heath would make a great Heathcliff.) I've read many academic critiques of it. I had someone read a passage from it at my wedding.

As you guys have said, what WH and BBM have in common are their depiction of a love that transcends ordinary experience -- a love that, by comparison, makes ordinary experience seem pale and boring and less than fully alive.  Metaphysical is a good way to describe it, Frank. Both use the same strategy to establish the overriding power of that love: by depicting it as a force of nature. Both loves flourish in a specific wild isolated outdoor place, a place that would feel harsh and inhospitable to all other characters but in which the lovers themselves are quite comfortable -- the only place, in fact, that they really feel at home.

Both loves are doomed because they violate the constraints imposed by society. Both stories turn tragic when one partner betrays the relationship in order to follow society's rules. Society, in contrast to the natural outdoor loves, is symbolized in both by dull domesticity. In BBM, the conflict is sexuality and in WH it's class, but in both the character denies his/her real nature in order to honor social conventions -- a mistake that leads to tragedy and loss.

Both loves are depicted as so elemental as to transcend all other issues -- even gender. I don't mean to further the argument, which personally I don't buy, that either Jack or Ennis is an otherwise straight man who "happened" to fall in love with another man. But when people do interpret the movie that way, or when they speak of it as a "universal" love story, I think what they're responding to is the sense that, on one level anyway, their love is so great that matters such as gender sameness seem irrelevant in comparison. Meanwhile, the love between Cathy and Heathcliff is hardly even sexual -- and it's not clear whether its chasteness is the product of the Victorian sensibilities Bronte was dealing with or an indication that their love is so powerful that actual sex is almost beside the point. In the language of BBM, it mainly seems "a shared and sexless hunger." There's even a hint that Cathy and Heathcliff could be half-siblings, but a little thing like the incest taboo is unimportant compared to a love that's "like the eternal rocks beneath."

What else? Well, setting aside what I said about sex above, both loves are depicted as violently passionate; Jack and Ennis' reunion kiss draws blood, and by the time the maid interrupts Heathcliff and Cathy's kiss when she is on her deathbed, Cathy is more or less actually dead. Both, obviously, end with one person dead and the other living on for years, tormented by grief. Both suggest that the dead lover's spirit in some way now does, or should, reside at the place of their initial happiness; Cathy's ghost seems to wander the moors, Jack wants his ashes scattered on Brokeback.

And both, as Scott put it, feature endings

in which the torch of happiness and hope is passed onto the younger generation, suggesting that the unresolved issues of the elders will find fulfillment within the lives of the children.  Hareton and young Catherine will likely know the connubial bliss that eluded Heathcliff and Cathy, just as Alma Junior will have the experience of living openly with the man who loves her, a joy denied and unknown to her father.

And yet, although certainly that torch passing is meant to be seen as a ray of hope, both of those endings are strangely unsatisfying. Hareton and Cathy Jr. are portrayed as reflecting the spirited nature of their elders, albeit in a milder and more socially acceptable form. And Alma Jr. is similar to Ennis in many ways. But, maybe because the film and novel have already gone so far out of their way to show the love between the main couple as bigger and deeper than any other love ever, it's hard to get very excited about Hareton and Cathy Jr. and Kurt and Alma Jr. Maybe that's just me.

WH has a happier ending, paradoxically, because Heathcliff eventually dies, after which we're allowed to imagine the two lovers' ghosts roaming the moors together. Ennis' story ends far less satisfyingly -- he's still mired in grief, haunted by his memories, his fate wrenching and unresolved.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Rutella on October 13, 2006, 05:54:45 pm
I feel a bit stupid replying to these amazing posts cos you guys have the most fantastic use of language and critical minds. I also haven't read WH so a couple of years (though reading this has made me go and grab it from my bookshelf and start re-reading it tonight for sure) but as soon as I read the first few lines of this thread I thought yes! Becaause what both BBM and WH do for me is make me ache to leave society and to escape outside into the wild. And when I finish reading/watching either it takes me a good half hour or so just to remember where I am. It hurts when I watch Ennis inside a trailer/flat/whatever because it reminds me how I can feel so suffocated unless I have open air above me.

There's a wonderful place in the north of Scotland called Rannoch Moor, which is so isolated and wild that I always want to leap from the car as we drive through and just run and run until there is nothing but me and the wild. I have a thing about moors in general, but especially this one (whether this is because of reading WH at a v young age, so if I was drawn to the novel because of my natural love of moors I don't know). My husband however only really lives on the mountains, and we frequently discuss out potential sweet life, in a crofters cottage in the middle of nowhere, by moors and mountains and rivers, but at the moment we're stuck with Edinburgh, a city where at least I can see mountains from my kitchen window.   

Sorry I've corrupted your amazing thoughts with my random personal nonsense.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Frank H on October 16, 2006, 12:37:23 pm
Hi Rutella

There's a wonderful place in the north of Scotland called Rannoch Moor, which is so isolated and wild that I always want to leap from the car as we drive through and just run and run until there is nothing but me and the wild.

Tell you what. I know where Rannoch Moor is!

I really do. I travelled through part of it in 1965, on my way up to the Orkney Islands. It was my first, and so far only, time in the Scottish highlands. Since than I have visited many countries in Europe, parts of the western USA, and Israel - and I have seen nowhere which surpasses the western Scottish highlands in its haunting beauty. The one major drawback to that area is the profusion of biting insects (I am allergic to many insect bites).

Please don't feel "stupid". You are not talking nonsense. Thanks for your comments, and I am sure you have more good things to contribute.

To Katherine - I really appreciated your post on this thread. I haven't yet had enough time to compose a reply properly discussing the interesting issues your post raised. (I'm a member of quite a number of forums - probably too many - not all about BBM). I hope to get this done soon.

Best wishes to all,

Frank
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on October 16, 2006, 01:07:55 pm
To Katherine - I really appreciated your post on this thread. I haven't yet had enough time to compose a reply properly discussing the interesting issues your post raised. (I'm a member of quite a number of forums - probably too many - not all about BBM). I hope to get this done soon.

Thanks, Frank. I look forward to seeing your thoughts. Meanwhile, you might be interested to know that all this has inspired me to pick up Wuthering Heights again. (The copy I own has a spine held together by masking tape. And this isn't even my original copy!)

I'm maybe 30 or 40 pages into it. If I find any more BBM parallels, I'll report them here.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 26, 2017, 08:04:08 pm
Kathryn, I hope you're planning to watch the PBS show, "To Walk Invisible: the Bronte Sisters," tonight. I'm lighting the fireplace, making a special dinner, and pouring a glass of 12-year-old Scotch for the occasion!
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on March 26, 2017, 09:09:34 pm
Kathryn, I hope you're planning to watch the PBS show, "To Walk Invisible: the Bronte Sisters," tonight. I'm lighting the fireplace, making a special dinner, and pouring a glass of 12-year-old Scotch for the occasion!

Oh my gosh, I hadn't even heard about it, but luckily I saw this post exactly 2 minutes before it started, so I ran out and hit "record" in the nick of time. I have literally three other shows that run on Sunday night that I watch and/or record ("Big Little Lies," "Girls," and "Feud: Betty and Joan").

"Walk Invisible" runs here from 8 to 11 and I don't want to stay up that late, so I'll save it for later in the week. Besides, I don't have 12-year-old Scotch, wood in the fireplace or even a particularly nice dinner planned. So I could either attempt to make do with uncomfortable accommodations as a tribue to Wuthering Heights and Haworth, or wait until I'm better prepared.

Thanks for telling me, FRiend!





Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 26, 2017, 11:05:39 pm
One should never be without a bottle of 12-year-old scotch. Single malt.

And it's "Bette."

 ;D
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on March 27, 2017, 10:05:19 am
One should never be without a bottle of 12-year-old scotch. Single malt.

I'm never with one. I like most kinds of booze, except gin and scotch. Though when in Edinborough, I visited the whiskey museum and in the gift shop bought a bunch of airplane bottles of single malt to bring home to my then-husband as a gift. I got to the point where I kind of liked it, but never loved it.

Quote
And it's "Bette."

 ;D

You're right, of course, and I knew that. Sorry. But while we're on the subject, my name is spelled Katherine, not Kathryn (like Hawn or Bigelow) or Katharine (like Hepburn). I actually don't mind any spelling. Just don't call me Kathy.

Speaking of older movie stars, my son won a Mary Pickford Scholarship from his college in LA. I had to explain who Mary Pickford was ("America's sweetheart -- kind of the Jennifer Lawrence of the 19-teens," I told him). But he's studying film and media culture, so he really should know that. I told him Mary Pickford founded a production company with Charlie Chaplin and Douglas Fairbanks that became United Artists. He had heard that, but thought it was Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith. I looked it up and we were both right -- it was all four.

How was the Brontė movie?





Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 27, 2017, 11:06:55 am
You're right, of course, and I knew that. Sorry. But while we're on the subject, my name is spelled Katherine, not Kathryn (like Hawn or Bigelow) or Katharine (like Hepburn). I actually don't mind any spelling. Just don't call me Kathy.

I'm sorry. I need to make a note of that--and then keep the note some place where I won't lose it.  :(  I knew, of course, that you're not a "Kathryn" or a "Catherine" or "Catharine," but it seems that there are so many different ways to spell the name that I can never keep the "e-Katherines" and the "a-Katharines" straight in my head.  :(

(Despite all my enjoyment of Tudor history, I can't even remember if it's "Catherine of Aragon" or "Catharine of Aragon." Maybe I should just give up and use her Spanish birth name, "Catalina." )

Speaking of "Kathy," that reminds me of how I sometimes wonder at the short, sharp, sexy names that parents sometimes give to new babies. I wonder what they're thinking. Take "Cody," for example. Perhaps I can see it if the family is somehow related to Buffalo Bill, but otherwise, I think of "Cody" as perhaps cute for a little boy, or sexy for a young hunk (like the character in the old Baywatch), but I can't envision a "Cody" as a bald 60-year-old with a beer gut, and one can never predict. ...
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on March 27, 2017, 04:51:11 pm
I'm sorry. I need to make a note of that--and then keep the note some place where I won't lose it.  :(  I knew, of course, that you're not a "Kathryn" or a "Catherine" or "Catharine," but it seems that there are so many different ways to spell the name that I can never keep the "e-Katherines" and the "a-Katharines" straight in my head.  :(

That's OK! Seriously, I don't mind a bit. Jeff habitually calls me Katharine, but I just like to think he associates me with Hepburn. And here we are on the Wuthering Heights thread, so for all I care you can calll me Catherine!

Quote
Speaking of "Kathy," that reminds me of how I sometimes wonder at the short, sharp, sexy names that parents sometimes give to new babies. I wonder what they're thinking. Take "Cody," for example. Perhaps I can see it if the family is somehow related to Buffalo Bill, but otherwise, I think of "Cody" as perhaps cute for a little boy, or sexy for a young hunk (like the character in the old Baywatch), but I can't envision a "Cody" as a bald 60-year-old with a beer gut, and one can never predict. ...

Well, I imagine that's the way parents once felt about names like Maude and Clarence and Bertha and Floyd and Esther and Otis and Blanche. If a lot of people in a generation have a name, the imagery attached to that name follows them as they progress from sexy young thing to old person.

Some day, names like Heather and Tanya and Dylan will conjure images of old people. As will names closer to our own generation: Linda, Scott, Greg, Jodi.

I'm lucky, I suppose, that Katherine has endured for centuries and stayed current-sounding.

That's why we named our son Cyrus. I didn't know anyone under about 60 with that name, but it didn't feel particularly dated. And our other son is Jackson, which is a bit trendy, but he generally goes by Jack, which is classic.

Sometimes I wish we'd come up with something more original than Jack. Like maybe Vinnie. We both loved Hank, but our landlord at the time was named Hank, so that kind of wrecked it (two years later, of course, that wouldn't matter). And we kind of liked Rex, but we were in New Orleans and that's the title they use when they annually designate some old-line aristocrat King of Carnival. So in NOLA it had a snobby connotation that, again, would not matter now.

IF all else fails, the kid can eventually go the way of Diablo Cody (née Brook Busey). It's a cool name, but very few parents would give their child a name that means "devil."

Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 27, 2017, 05:10:08 pm
My excuse for misspelling your name, lately, Katherine, is that I have a client named St. Kathryn Cellars, so that has become the default spelling! I'll try to do better!
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 27, 2017, 06:11:56 pm
That's OK! Seriously, I don't mind a bit. Jeff habitually calls me Katharine, but I just like to think he associates me with Hepburn. And here we are on the Wuthering Heights thread, so for all I care you can calll me Catherine!

Thanks, except I'd never be able to remember which way to spell Kate's name, either. Generally speaking, I have a Katherine/Katharine problem.  :(

Quote
Well, I imagine that's the way parents once felt about names like Maude and Clarence and Bertha and Floyd and Esther and Otis and Blanche. If a lot of people in a generation have a name, the imagery attached to that name follows them as they progress from sexy young thing to old person.

Some day, names like Heather and Tanya and Dylan will conjure images of old people. As will names closer to our own generation: Linda, Scott, Greg, Jodi.

"Esther" at least is Biblical (I had a great-aunt named Esther). One thing I think you can say about Biblical names, at least for boys, is that they wear well. (Obviously, not all Biblical names; anybody who would name a child Nahum or Haggai ought to be taken out and shot.  ;D ) Back in the day, before I knew I wouldn't have offspring. I used to think I'd name a son, if I had one, Andrew Michael: Both Biblical. Both masculine. Both enduring and not strange sounding. And multi-syllable given names tend to "work better" with single-syllable surnames. (Can work the other way, too; a single-syllable given name can work OK with a multi-syllable surname.)

Quote
I'm lucky, I suppose, that Katherine has endured for centuries and stayed current-sounding.

Probably so.

Quote
That's why we named our son Cyrus. I didn't know anyone under about 60 with that name, but it didn't feel particularly dated. And our other son is Jackson, which is a bit trendy, but he generally goes by Jack, which is classic.

Sometimes I wish we'd come up with something more original than Jack. Like maybe Vinnie. We both loved Hank, but our landlord at the time was named Hank, so that kind of wrecked it (two years later, of course, that wouldn't matter). And we kind of liked Rex, but we were in New Orleans and that's the title they use when they annually designate some old-line aristocrat King of Carnival. So in NOLA it had a snobby connotation that, again, would not matter now.

Vinnie?  :o

Quote
IF all else fails, the kid can eventually go the way of Diablo Cody (née Brook Busey). It's a cool name, but very few parents would give their child a name that means "devil."

No foolin'? That's her birth name? I never knew that.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on March 27, 2017, 10:52:21 pm
My excuse for misspelling your name, lately, Katherine, is that I have a client named St. Kathryn Cellars, so that has become the default spelling! I'll try to do better!

Not to worry!  :)  Seriously. I'd rather you misspell my name than your client's!

Vinnie?  :o

Well, just a thought. We'd probably have to move to New Jersey, though.

We briefly toyed with "Otis." My great uncle was named Otis, and he was quite a character -- a talented artist in both paint and sculpture, but much of his artwork is vaguely disturbing, eccentric to the point of being almost macabre. I have several pieces of his and love them, but mainly because they're weird. He also did time in prison for counterfeiting, and according to family legend he spent more time in the slammer than his fellow counterfeiters because he was so difficult.

When Mike and I mentioned, at a family gathering at my dad's, that we were thinking of naming the kid Otis, my entire extended family spoke in unison: "Don't name him Otis!!"

My only objection to the name was that it reminded me of the town drunk in Mayberry. But they probably remembered their eccentric uncle.


Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 28, 2017, 08:58:48 am
Well, just a thought. We'd probably have to move to New Jersey, though.

We briefly toyed with "Otis." My great uncle was named Otis, and he was quite a character -- a talented artist in both paint and sculpture, but much of his artwork is vaguely disturbing, eccentric to the point of being almost macabre. I have several pieces of his and love them, but mainly because they're weird. He also did time in prison for counterfeiting, and according to family legend he spent more time in the slammer than his fellow counterfeiters because he was so difficult.

When Mike and I mentioned, at a family gathering at my dad's, that we were thinking of naming the kid Otis, my entire extended family spoke in unison: "Don't name him Otis!!"

My only objection to the name was that it reminded me of the town drunk in Mayberry. But they probably remembered their eccentric uncle.

 :laugh:

Katherine, you need to write a book about Uncle Otis! Never mind the other stuff! Write about Uncle Otis!  :laugh:

Actually, I'm serious about that!  :)

(I remember the town drunk from Mayberry.  ;D )
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 28, 2017, 10:11:32 am
:laugh:

Katherine, you need to write a book about Uncle Otis! Never mind the other stuff! Write about Uncle Otis!  :laugh:

Actually, I'm serious about that!  :)

Follow-up:

I took the liberty of sharing "Uncle Otis" with my colleagues here at work. One responded immediately, "I'd buy that book!" The others all agree with me, too.

Just sayin' and passin' on. ...
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on March 28, 2017, 10:17:56 am
:laugh:

Katherine, you need to write a book about Uncle Otis! Never mind the other stuff! Write about Uncle Otis!  :laugh:

Actually, I'm serious about that!  :)

(I remember the town drunk from Mayberry.  ;D )

I actually have fantasized about spending a year in my dad's hometown, on the western edge of Iowa, and writing about it. Maybe 17 years ago or so, my family went through the town on the way somewhere else. I had spent some time there when I was a kid, when my grandmother moved back there toward the end of her life. (She had spent the interim years in Des Moines.)

We were there for an afternoon, and had lunch with my dad's cousin. At one point, her son came in. He was the mayor, and said the town had asked Johnny Carson to donate to its big new athletic center. (Months later, I just happened to be reading the "people" column in the paper, and there was a little item saying he did! Total serendipity, since I don't usually read that column.) Johnny didn't grow up there, he grew up in nearby Omaha. But his cousin Rex was a childhood friend of my dad and his sisters, and family legend has it that my grandmother dated Johnny's father.

After lunch, we went by where my great uncle and aunt's motel used to be. It was called the L&M Motel, after their names, Lloyd and Mattie. Now it was a little clinic of some kind. At that point, this woman walked up to our car and asked if we needed help or directions. Turned out she had been Lloyd's housekeeper (he lived across the street) and cared for him during his final years/days. He'd been born in 1898 and had hoped to live to see three centuries, but didn't quite make it. Now this woman lived in his house. I can't remember her name, but in the essay I wrote about it later I called her Roberta, so I'll call her that.

I joined Roberta in her giant old car, my husband and kids following, and we all drove to the cemetery, where Roberta led us to the family graves. One was a huge -- like, 12-foot-tall -- monument with my dad's name on it. Of course, it wasn't my dad's grave -- he had the same name as his father, but it wasn't his father's grave, either, judging by the dates of birth and death. It must have been his father's father. Other Reads had been buried in this same place, people with names like Maude and Beatrice.

Roberta then led us to the old family house, this big white house where my dad had grown up and where his senile grandfather (a traveling salesman who always thought he was living in a hotel and the family members were the hotel staff) lived for a while, as did Uncle Otis. Roberta told me Lloyd's attic was full of old papers and other stuff, including Otis' court records, written (of course, at the time) by hand.

After that, we drove to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner in a town not too far away. I asked my aunt about Roberta, and she recalled that when she was in high school a girl got pregnant, and she thinks the child was Roberta. I asked about the giant cemetery monument and what she knew about her great-grandfather, and she said she knew nothing about him. Which is so odd, because he had apparently owned a lot of property in town and it was a very small town. My grandfather inherited money, but lost it in the Depression and never worked again. When I was really little, he killed himself.

Anyway, I've thought it would be fun to go back, live a year, go to the courthouse and look into the family records, see if Roberta is still around and if Lloyd's attic is still full of stuff, and also generally write about the experience of living in an extremely small town. You don't hear much about that experience, or see it depicted in movies or TV shows -- they're always slightly bigger small towns, like Mayberry. Often they're cute and quaint. This one isn't particularly. If you've seen What's Eating Gilbert Grape? it's like that town.

So although it's pretty close to Omaha, it would be a scary adventure in culture shock. But just think of what I'd saving on housing for a year! If I could get an advance book contract to do it, I'd probably do it.




Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 28, 2017, 10:37:15 am
So although it's pretty close to Omaha, it would be a scary adventure in culture shock. But just think of what I'd saving on housing for a year! If I could get an advance book contract to do it, I'd probably do it.

Well, maybe there's more there than just Uncle Otis. You could at least get an article out of it--and send it to The New Yorker!

Is it far from Council Bluffs?
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Front-Ranger on March 28, 2017, 09:53:57 pm
Nebraska is getting to be trendy and famous, thanks to Alexander Paine. Did you read the recent article about him in the New Yorker? Apparently he continues to live in Nebraska even though he's now an acclaimed film director. I watched the movie "Nebraska" starring Bruce Dern when I was hanging out at Mt. Elbert Lodge recently. It was not quite as bad as having dental work done.

I actually like movies and books set in rural places. But I'd rather them not be as bleak, dystopian and sad in the endings. I'd prefer more of a Jane Austen in the countryside type of story.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on March 30, 2017, 10:50:03 am
Well, maybe there's more there than just Uncle Otis. You could at least get an article out of it--and send it to The New Yorker!

I don't think it's quite the New Yorker's type of thing. But I have already published one essay about it in a literary journal called River Teeth. You've never heard of it, I'm sure, but actually as obscure literary journals go, it's pretty well respected.

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Is it far from Council Bluffs?

31 miles. North on I-29, NE on US-30.



Nebraska is getting to be trendy and famous, thanks to Alexander Paine.

Well, that's kind of like saying Fargo, N.D., got trendy and famous thanks to the Coen Bros. Of course, they don't live anywhere near there/here, so it's a little different. Maybe someday Chanhassen, MN, will be trendy and famous thanks to Prince. Well, Prince (along with the Replacements and other critically beloved bands) did lend some trendiness and fame to Minneapolis.

My parents lived briefly in Omaha when I was a baby. My brother was born there. Then, thankfully, they returned to Minneapolis. I think Omaha has some hip neighborhoods and the like, as every city does these days, but ...

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I watched the movie "Nebraska" starring Bruce Dern when I was hanging out at Mt. Elbert Lodge recently. It was not quite as bad as having dental work done.

I loved Nebraska. I didn't find the ending sad. I'm sometimes put off by bleakness, but it has to be bleaker even than that.

Requiem for a Dream, Leaving Las Vegas and Platoon are my bleakness triad -- well-made movies that I actually wish I hadn't seen. One good rule of thumb is that if the soundtrack includes Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings, stay away. Unless it's used ironically, in a comic context, to satirize movies I should stay away from. According to Wikipedia, a lot of comedies have done that -- notably Seinfeld in the '90s. It looks like for about the past 15 years it has been used pretty much exclusively in comedies.

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I'd prefer more of a Jane Austen in the countryside type of story.

I have nothing against Jane Austen. But generally I like grittiness, especially in accounts of periods when life could be very gritty, at least for some people. I never saw Downton Abbey, and I'm pretty sure if I did watch it I'd get sucked into the plot and start liking it. But I read an article about how prettified it made that time period and situation seem, compared to the actual gritty reality in the lives of servants in those days.

I loved The Nick, a two-season TV series about a hospital in 1900, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owens. It featured clumsy early surgical experiments gone wrong, incredible racism and classism and sexism, and all sorts of other gruesome stuff.


Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 30, 2017, 12:01:18 pm
I don't think it's quite the New Yorker's type of thing. But I have already published one essay about it in a literary journal called River Teeth. You've never heard of it, I'm sure, but actually as obscure literary journals go, it's pretty well respected.

I dunno. Over the years they've run stories about some pretty odd people.

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31 miles. North on I-29, NE on US-30.

My parents lived briefly in Omaha when I was a baby. My brother was born there. Then, thankfully, they returned to Minneapolis. I think Omaha has some hip neighborhoods and the like, as every city does these days, but ...

At the risk of sounding like an East Coast snob, Omaha has always sounded so ... Middle America to me. Like Peoria. Or some place Sinclair Lewis would write about.

On the other hand, I do feel an odd attraction to the place, or at least to the name, because, of course, the Union Pacific began to build from Omaha. Also, for some reason, I don't know why, the locomotive of my first HO train set, going back to before I was even in kindergarten, had "Omaha" on the side of it.

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I have nothing against Jane Austen. But generally I like grittiness, especially in accounts of periods when life could be very gritty, at least for some people. I never saw Downton Abbey, and I'm pretty sure if I did watch it I'd get sucked into the plot and start liking it. But I read an article about how prettified it made that time period and situation seem, compared to the actual gritty reality in the lives of servants in those days.

I'm so glad I'm not the only one who never saw Downton Abbey. Before it debuted, I thought it just sounded like a rip-off of Upstairs, Downstairs, except with Maggie Smith. Then it became a sort of cultural phenomenon, but I never watched it because I figured by then I'd have no idea what was going on.

Does everything British have to have that Upstairs, Downstairs element? Even Victoria has it.

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I loved The Nick, a two-season TV series about a hospital in 1900, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Clive Owens. It featured clumsy early surgical experiments gone wrong, incredible racism and classism and sexism, and all sorts of other gruesome stuff.

I would have liked to have seen The Nick, and not just because of Clive Owen.  ::)  I can't say off-hand now why I didn't. Possibly I don't receive the channel on which it was broadcast.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on March 30, 2017, 03:26:59 pm
At the risk of sounding like an East Coast snob, Omaha has always sounded so ... Middle America to me. Like Peoria. Or some place Sinclair Lewis would write about.

At the risk of sounding like a snob in a nearly neighboring state, I feel similarly. Whenever funding for some cultural thing is threatened in Minneapolis, people always say that without it we'll turn into a "cold Omaha."

Of course, I would not use "Middle America" as a pejorative, although in this case it's geographically correct. Sinclair Lewis is from, and wrote about, Minnesota. I can't remember if he explicitly mentions the state in his novels or just implies it. And his attitude is definitely pejorative.

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I would have liked to have seen The Nick, and not just because of Clive Owen.  ::)  I can't say off-hand now why I didn't. Possibly I don't receive the channel on which it was broadcast.

You probably don't. It was on Starz. I think it's the only thing I've ever watched on Starz, and now that I know The Nick isn't being renewed, I'm going to cancel it. You might be able to find it somewhere on Amazon or Netflix or something like that, though.


Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 30, 2017, 03:56:12 pm
At the risk of sounding like a snob in a nearly neighboring state, I feel similarly. Whenever funding for some cultural thing is threatened in Minneapolis, people always say that without it we'll turn into a "cold Omaha."

 :laugh:

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Of course, I would not use "Middle America" as a pejorative, although in this case it's geographically correct. Sinclair Lewis is from, and wrote about, Minnesota. I can't remember if he explicitly mentions the state in his novels or just implies it. And his attitude is definitely pejorative.

I've never actually read Lewis, only read about Lewis, but I picked up the idea that he wrote pejoratively about small-town Middle America.

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You probably don't. It was on Starz. I think it's the only thing I've ever watched on Starz, and now that I know The Nick isn't being renewed, I'm going to cancel it. You might be able to find it somewhere on Amazon or Netflix or something like that, though.

That would explain it. I don't get Starz.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on March 30, 2017, 07:29:49 pm
I've never actually read Lewis, only read about Lewis, but I picked up the idea that he wrote pejoratively about small-town Middle America.

Well, I guess I can't say for sure about his whole oeuvre. I read Main Street years on years ago, and it was pretty clearly Minnesota, as I recall, because it was snowy and the people were of Swedish descent, I think.

But I haven't read any of the others, and I always get him confused with Upton Sinclair.

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That would explain it. I don't get Starz.

Oops, I guess it was Cinemax. Looks like you can go to their website and watch at least some episodes. I didn't investigate thoroughly enough to see whether they're all on there somewhere. But if you get a chance, you should try it -- I think you'd really like it.

http://www.cinemax.com/the-knick/ (http://www.cinemax.com/the-knick/)


Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 30, 2017, 09:44:03 pm
Well, I guess I can't say for sure about his whole oeuvre. I read Main Street years on years ago, and it was pretty clearly Minnesota, as I recall, because it was snowy and the people were of Swedish descent, I think.

But I haven't read any of the others, and I always get him confused with Upton Sinclair.

I gather Lewis' great subject was hypocrisy and small-mindedness in small-town America.

Sinclair Lewis = Main Street, Babbitt, Elmer Gantry

Upton Sinclair = The Jungle

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Oops, I guess it was Cinemax. Looks like you can go to their website and watch at least some episodes. I didn't investigate thoroughly enough to see whether they're all on there somewhere. But if you get a chance, you should try it -- I think you'd really like it.

http://www.cinemax.com/the-knick/ (http://www.cinemax.com/the-knick/)

Thanks. It was Cinemax. I just looked it up.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on March 30, 2017, 11:28:31 pm
I gather Lewis' great subject was hypocrisy and small-mindedness in small-town America.

Sinclair Lewis = Main Street, Babbitt, Elmer Gantry

Upton Sinclair = The Jungle

Thanks. I didn't quite mean I literally couldn't distinguish them. I meant I read one name and briefly think of the other. Upton Sinclair -- didn't he write about small-mindedness in small-town America? Sinclair Lewis -- didn't he expose horrific health practices in the meat-packing industry (or something like that -- I haven't read him)?

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Thanks. It was Cinemax. I just looked it up.

Even if you can only watch some of the episodes it might be worth it. Yes, there are ongoing plotlines, but there are also stand-alone stories. If you happen to see the one where a woman walks into the hospital wearing glasses -- oh my God, let me know. That was possibly the most horrific one among a lot of horrific ones.

Or the one where Clive Owen checks himself into rehab (he's a brilliant doctor but also a cocaine addict -- that's established right at the beginning of the series) and they offer him a special medicinal cure developed by the Bayer Company (based on historical facts you may be familiar with, in your line of work, but it was news to me). Or the one where ... oh, but there are so many good ones.



Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on March 31, 2017, 09:29:29 am
Thanks. I didn't quite mean I literally couldn't distinguish them. I meant I read one name and briefly think of the other. Upton Sinclair -- didn't he write about small-mindedness in small-town America? Sinclair Lewis -- didn't he expose horrific health practices in the meat-packing industry (or something like that -- I haven't read him)?

That's The Jungle.

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Even if you can only watch some of the episodes it might be worth it. Yes, there are ongoing plotlines, but there are also stand-alone stories. If you happen to see the one where a woman walks into the hospital wearing glasses -- oh my God, let me know. That was possibly the most horrific one among a lot of horrific ones.

A lot of series seem to do that, these days. Even that Musketeers series that I'm obsessing over did that; each episode in each of the three series can stand alone, yet there is a plot line that runs through the whole series and is wrapped up in the last episode (I'm using series in the British sense here; we Yanks would call it a season). I've noticed the same thing in Bones (last episode of the series aired this week), Hawaii Five-O, and N.C.I.S.: New Orleans, although in the case of these three shows, the ongoing plot may not have lasted the entire season.

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Or the one where Clive Owen checks himself into rehab (he's a brilliant doctor but also a cocaine addict -- that's established right at the beginning of the series) and they offer him a special medicinal cure developed by the Bayer Company (based on historical facts you may be familiar with, in your line of work, but it was news to me). Or the one where ... oh, but there are so many good ones.

Did they give him aspirin? I think I read somewhere outside of work that Bayer invented aspirin, but we really don't deal in medical history where I work.

This is another series that I've read about but never seen. There are too many notes shows and channels from which to choose.  :(
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 01, 2017, 10:20:37 am


How was the Brontė movie?

Just now getting back to you on this question. I was frankly PO'ed that four of the five headlining actors in the movie were male, in a film about the Brontės! What's up with that? The acting was overall very good and the scenery was spectacular. There wasn't much grittiness, at least not period grittiness.

It gets off to a very unpromising start but 17 minutes later picks up. One thing I did like was that there was no romantic pining after any Mr. Darcys. The Brontės were spinsters and they were okay with that. Their lives did not quite suffer the privations that the Austen characters did, although they all seemed to suffer and die from tuberculosis in the end.

I also was not ready for a three-hour movie, I thought it would be a one-hour first program of a series. Thus, I had to watch it in two parts.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on April 01, 2017, 10:58:59 am
That's The Jungle.

Yeah, I know. I meant I haven't read The Jungle, but I do know vaguely what it's about.

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A lot of series seem to do that, these days.

Yes, it does seem to be the new standard structure for dramas, and even comedies.

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Did they give him aspirin? I think I read somewhere outside of work that Bayer invented aspirin, but we really don't deal in medical history where I work.

No. Oh, no. That would not be nearly haunting enough for The Nick.

Put it this way, it's the season finale and the final shot lingers on the bottle of the new miracle addiction-curing medicine. I'd give you one more clue regarding how it got its name, but that would give it away.



Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on April 01, 2017, 11:13:09 am
Just now getting back to you on this question. I was frankly PO'ed that four of the five headlining actors in the movie were male, in a film about the Brontės! What's up with that?

I can't even think of four men who'd have been integral to the Brontės' story! There's Branwell, the dad, and eventually Charlotte's husband. Who was the fourth?

Their father reportedly opposed Charlotte's marriage at least partly because he was afraid she'd die in childbirth. Because in those days, marriage inevitably meant pregnancy (unless one of the spouses was infertile or, I guess, maybe gay). And pregnancy often meant death, especially for an older mother. And sure enough, Charlotte got pregnant soon after the wedding and died, not in childbirth but according to Wikipedia for mysterious reasons that may have included dehydration due to severe morning sickness. (Wikipedia mentions the father objecting to the marriage, but because of the husband's finances, not the pregnancy issue.)

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The acting was overall very good and the scenery was spectacular. There wasn't much grittiness, at least not period grittiness.

I've been to Haworth, and the scenery is spectacular.

Still their story is inherently fairly gritty. At one time it seemed strange to me that people in 19th-century novels (like Wuthering Heights, for example) so often were depicted as physically frail and dying young deaths. Turns out that's because in the 19th century, people often were physically frail and died young deaths. (Well, not frail -- in fact, arguably stronger than people are now -- but too frail to survive the era's diseases and lack of available health care solutions.)

My ex-husband and I once noted that if we'd lived in the 19th century we'd both have died long before -- him because he has asthma and is allergic to horses. Me because I had a very serious case of measles at age 6 -- so serious the doctor actually made a house call to deliver the life-saving injection. And our oldest son, who once got an infected toe that led to several days in the hospital, would have lost a leg at the very least.

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I also was not ready for a three-hour movie, I thought it would be a one-hour first program of a series. Thus, I had to watch it in two parts.

I have it safely tucked away in my DVR, and maybe I'll do the same!  :)



Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 01, 2017, 11:51:04 am
My ex-husband and I once noted that if we'd lived in the 19th century we'd both have died long before -- him because he has asthma and is allergic to horses. Me because I had a very serious case of measles at age 6 -- so serious the doctor actually made a house call to deliver the life-saving injection. And our oldest son, who once got an infected toe that led to several days in the hospital, would have lost a leg at the very least.

I sure would have, even through the first four--or even five--decades of the 20th century, before antibiotics, or at least before they became common (I forget when Fleming discovered penicillin; I seem to remember reading somewhere that it was only during Word War II that its use became common). I'd have died at age 4 of appendicitis and peritonitis. In a sense I feel I've lived 55 years on borrowed time.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on April 01, 2017, 06:55:31 pm
I sure would have, even through the first four--or even five--decades of the 20th century, before antibiotics, or at least before they became common (I forget when Fleming discovered penicillin; I seem to remember reading somewhere that it was only during Word War II that its use became common). I'd have died at age 4 of appendicitis and peritonitis. In a sense I feel I've lived 55 years on borrowed time.

Not to keep harping about The Nick, but you would love it. In 1900, they're just starting to experiment with bloody new surgical techniques. They've just discovered X-rays. The only anesthetic the use is cocaine, which is why Clive Owens is addicted to it.

At one point, Dr. Clive Owens, high on cocaine, has this brilliant idea for a surgical technique that involves a blood transfusion. He rushes into the operating room and immediately tries it out on a patient, who promptly dies. Oops! Didn't realize there was more than one type of blood!

There are all kinds of events like that. I guess I don't know how closely it adheres to actual medical history, but I assume it's pretty close.


Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: southendmd on April 01, 2017, 07:16:38 pm
It gets off to a very unpromising start but 17 minutes later picks up.

I tried, but I'm afraid I gave up, and earlier than 17 minutes in...
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 01, 2017, 08:40:35 pm
I tried, but I'm afraid I gave up, and earlier than 17 minutes in...

Yes, it's a very unpromising beginning, that's for sure! Almost daring you to view further.

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I've been to Haworth, and the scenery is spectacular.

Haworth is not far from my mother's mother's family's burial place at St. Thomas Beckett Church in Hampthswaite, North Yorkshire, on the river Nidd. I spent a wonderful afternoon there, making rubbings of the family gravestones. The family name is Hardesty, which means hard (close) by the sty. A sty is a little stairway that goes over a fence, in lieu of a gate.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 01, 2017, 10:36:28 pm
Haworth is not far from my mother's mother's family's burial place at St. Thomas Beckett Church in Hampthswaite, North Yorkshire, on the river Nidd. I spent a wonderful afternoon there, making rubbings of the family gravestones. The family name is Hardesty, which means hard (close) by the sty. A sty is a little stairway that goes over a fence, in lieu of a gate.

That's a stile. But perhaps that's what they call it, or how they pronounce it, in North Yorkshire? So they started spelling it that way?

Otherwise I'm afraid it might mean your ancestors lived close by a place for keeping pigs, That's a sty.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 02, 2017, 09:19:52 am
No, it comes from the Old English word for stair: stę̄ger; akin to Old English & Old High German stīgan to rise, Greek steichein to walk. Stile is an alternative spelling.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on April 02, 2017, 09:22:16 am
I tried, but I'm afraid I gave up, and earlier than 17 minutes in...

 :laugh: I haven't tried yet.

When I read Wuthering Heights in fifth grade, I made it through the confusing and lengthy introduction by Mr. Lockwood, Heathcliff's tenant and kind of a boring guy who ultimately has little to do with the plot except as a foil for the main characters' vividness, as well as the hard-to-decipher, written-in-dialect rants by Joseph, the servant, an even less essential character, and was able to tolerate the story-within-a-story-within-a-story structure, so maybe I can stick it out to the 17-minute mark.

Then again, when I was in fifth grade there was no such thing as an internet, and I'm afraid I was a much more patient reader then than now.

If I were a fifth grader now, I'd be going, "Emily who?" and "F. Scott what?" and "Did you read that piece in Slate arguing that Bob Dylan actually does have a great voice? Well, I didn't finish it, but it sounded like the guy had a point."

(Actually, I did finish it, and he made a pretty decent argument.)


Haworth is not far from my mother's mother's family's burial place at St. Thomas Beckett Church in Hampthswaite, North Yorkshire, on the river Nidd. I spent a wonderful afternoon there, making rubbings of the family gravestones. The family name is Hardesty, which means hard (close) by the sty. A sty is a little stairway that goes over a fence, in lieu of a gate.

That's a stile. But perhaps that's what they call it, or how they pronounce it, in North Yorkshire? So they started spelling it that way?

Otherwise I'm afraid it might mean your ancestors lived close by a place for keeping pigs, That's a sty.

Stairway or pigpen, it sounds like a beautiful place for a burial ground. And what a great idea to make rubbings of the family gravestones!

(Brokie extra credit: Notice anything familiar in the construction of the first sentence in the paragraph above?)






Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 02, 2017, 02:50:57 pm
Stairway or pigpen, it sounds like a beautiful place for a burial ground. And what a great idea to make rubbings of the family gravestones!

(Brokie extra credit: Notice anything familiar in the construction of the first sentence in the paragraph above?)

You just like the direction it's going?
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 02, 2017, 10:04:06 pm
What a literary weekend! Watched "To Walk Invisible" about the Brontēs, went to a Sherlock Holmes meeting to discuss "The Naval Treaty" and then read a lost F. Scott Fitzgerald story "The I.O.U.". What can I do to finish off the weekend? I found it very enervating.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on April 03, 2017, 05:24:46 pm
You just like the direction it's going?

Ding ding ding!

BTW, in case you haven't been keeping up with the "Report your use of Brokieisms in so-called real life" thread, I got a Brokieism into promotional copy. I was assigned to come up with a slogan for posters to be used for fundraising walks and races of various kinds. So I submitted "Fast or slow, you'll be going in the right direction." They liked it, and now it's on promotional materials!


Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Front-Ranger on April 03, 2017, 07:59:08 pm
Well done! Now, maybe you can find a home for "She got lucky", "Brokeback got us good" and "I'm sending up a prayer to heaven for you forgettin' your harmonica"! I think "I wish I knew how to quit you" has already been used.
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: Jeff Wrangler on April 03, 2017, 10:31:11 pm
Ding ding ding!

BTW, in case you haven't been keeping up with the "Report your use of Brokieisms in so-called real life" thread, I got a Brokieism into promotional copy. I was assigned to come up with a slogan for posters to be used for fundraising walks and races of various kinds. So I submitted "Fast or slow, you'll be going in the right direction." They liked it, and now it's on promotional materials!

Yee haw! Congratulations!  :D
Title: Re: "Brokeback Mountain" and "Wuthering Heights" - both "one of a kind"?
Post by: serious crayons on April 04, 2017, 11:56:15 am
Well done! Now, maybe you can find a home for "She got lucky", "Brokeback got us Sh good" and "I'm sending up a prayer to heaven for you forgettin' your harmonica"! I think "I wish I knew how to quit you" has already been used.

 :laugh: :laugh: "She got lucky" could conceivably work, but I think the other two are going to be a bit harder to slip into copy promoting medical devices.  :laugh:

Though I'll look for an opportunity to use "Brokeback got him good" when describing a patient in need of a spinal-cord stimulation implant.

And maybe, "It's because of you, Jack, post-operative nerve damage that I'm like this."

And even if "I wish I knew how to quit you" wasn't already too cliched, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't make it past legal and regulatory when I'm writing about, say, a heart pump.