Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hopeful Monster

"I wrote a strong letter to Harold," says Mosley. "I said—look, this really makes it all so awful. She's lying unconscious, and he suddenly goes and crawls into bed with her, this 45-year-old don with an unconscious undergraduate. I just don't think people do this sort of thing. And Harold wrote back and said: well I just think people do do this sort of thing."

Nicholas Mosley on Pinter's screenplay of Accident, in an interview with Edward Skidelsky, Prospect Magazine

5 comments:

Lee said...

I've never read Mosley but this post most definitely makes me want to. And in light of the current popularity of Pullman, M's ideas about the relationship between theology and fiction are very interesting.

As to what people do & don't do - hah! They'll do anything. If it seems implausible in fiction, the writer simply hasn't done his job well.

Ithaca said...

Well, in this case Pinter introduced an incident to the screenplay that wasn't in the book.

Hopeful Monsters is a wonderful book; I used to read it going to the East End from Marble Arch on the N8 bus, and then look up and realise I had missed my stop and was cruising the silent streets of the Isle of Dogs.

Anonymous said...

this is what I want to study (well a part of)

We have been talking for almost four hours—Mosley loves the "yakety-yak." Yet at the same time he mistrusts words. "I think the Holy Spirit is really saying—stop talking, you're not going to get anywhere with words. You're going to get as far as the crucifixion. But then you've got to shut up, stop talking." But he doesn't stop. He keeps yakking away, beaming out his coded messages to whoever will pick them up. "People—even people who like my novels—sometimes say to me, rather sadly: we don't quite understand what you're getting at. And I say: I don't blame you… I don't sometimes."

(smb)

Jenny Davidson said...

Yes, I loved Hopeful Monsters when I read it, quite mesmerizingly good read...

I am perplexed in the interview by the throwaway reference to Hollinghurst as a sociologist-historian--seems to me that Hollinghurst is triumphantly a stylist above almost all else! (But then I suppose there are two schools of thought on Henry James also, also aligned with sociology on the one hand and style on the other.) Hollinghurst has something in common with Ishiguro, as I read them both, in that they are both very gifted writers in ways that may obscure some of the more, what would I call it, avant-garde is outdated, the more extreme form- or style-related boundary-pushing going on that for me is what makes their novels so interesting...

Lee said...

Well, in this case Pinter introduced an incident to the screenplay that wasn't in the book.

Yes, of course, the article makes that clear. It's Mosley's use of it as an argument that I find so amusing! (As to what one should introduce or not into a screenplay: I'm not going to even begin to tackle that one.)

So I with recommendations from you & Jenny, I'll have to read HM soon.

Hollinghurst: why I like him so much is that he's both superb stylist and superb observer. What Franzen could be if he wrote better sentences & paragraphs.