Fred A Levy Haskell (fredcritter) wrote,
Fred A Levy Haskell

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The Princess Bride:

S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, The 25th Anniversary Edition; The "Good Parts" Version Abridged by William Goldman.

I read this book, I dunno, a couple of years ago -- I must confess that I hadn't even heard of it before the movie (and I didn't even see the movie until later at home on TV or a videotape or something -- I think Susan said it was good. Me, I'm a little slow to catch on to things when they're current), and probably wouldn't have realized that it existed but for coming across a copy at Dreamhaven (thank you Elizabeth! Thank you Greg!). I enjoyed it quite a lot at the time.

I've always been especially fond of self-aware art, and I think Goldman does a particularly fine job with it in this book. Just recently, I can't remember where, I came across a contention that the story-within-a-story form is particularly common in Yiddish/Jewish storytelling and tradition. If so, I guess it might explain a few things, although I'm not at all sure I could succeed at saying at this moment just what it might explain....

And since I don't seem to be able to quite construct the coherent flow that I'd like to, I'll toss in here the notion that ocurred to me that The Princess Bride seems to me to display a distictly Jewish ... worldview or perspective or somesuchwhateverthehellI'mtrying to say.

Anyway, lately, when casting about for another book to read to Gavi, my 10-year-old daughter, at bedtime, I thought of it. We'd recently finished The Lord of the Rings (having read The Hobbit about a year ago), and, while we enjoyed it, it was rather, mmmmm, stiff. It seems to take itself particularly seriously, and I felt that while it would be good to continue with fanatsy I wanted something more, uh, relaxed.

I was going to read The Once and Future King, but after finishing The Sword in the Stone (which was, admittedly, about as charming as I remembered and somewhat filled the bill of what I'd been looking for), I peeked ahead, and I realized that the other books weren't exactly what I wanted to read to Gavi right now.

So I thought of The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern's Classic... etc. She got a little bit bored by Goldman's introductory ramblings, and I don't think she quite understood the story of The Lady of The Swimming Pool, but that's not important now.

We enjoyed it, we did.

And I seem to have lost whatever other point or observations I might have been heading for. So I guess I'll just upload this now and get on with whatever else....

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