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26 February 2003 @ 02:53 pm
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....
Current Mood: lethargic
Current Music: Visions of Jazz: A Musical Journey; selected & annotated by Gary Giddins
Mizz Laura Jeanmizzlaurajean on February 26th, 2003 07:46 pm (UTC)

So whatchya gonna read to her next?
Fred A Levy Haskellfredcritter on February 27th, 2003 04:31 pm (UTC)
Well, we read Isaac Asimov's More Tales of the Black Widowers and now we're into Isaac Bashevis Singer's Stories for Children. So it looks like I now have to find a book written by someone else named "Isaac"....

(Deleted comment)
Fred A Levy Haskellfredcritter on February 27th, 2003 04:36 pm (UTC)
No, I can't say I've read anything by, who did you say?, Robin McKinley. From the title, I'd guess it's fantasy. Is it fantasy? I'm actually far more fond of science fiction than fantasy. As a general rule, anyway....
the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on March 1st, 2003 07:25 pm (UTC)
"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."

In the movie, I always thought that Peter Falk played his character like a Jewish-ish grandfather.

the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on March 1st, 2003 09:11 pm (UTC)
We were on Moorea, a Tahitian island, and took a jeep tour with 4 other people. This ended in the group of us, sans guide, hiking up into the back beyond to see the waterfall, which was kinda dry, but nice anyway. Our fellow tourists included a pair of doctors from Los Angeles, and they and I were walking back downhill together at one point.

I'd picked up a breadfruit that had fallen by the trailside, and looked at it, and then hucked it off to the side, where it went crashing downhill to somewhere. The woman doctor was startled: "What was that?" I said that I'd just hucked a breadfruit down the hill. The other doctor then began reciting the entire scene from "The Princess Bride" with the ROUSs and much hilarity ensued.

K. [and she was amazed that anyone would understand her boyfriend's obscure movie references]
starstraf on March 3rd, 2003 01:56 pm (UTC)
I actually wouldn't see the movie for quite a while because I was convinced they would ruin the book, until the 3rd or 4th of my friend that had read and loved the book saw the movie.

My favorites growing up were
Wind in the Willows
Phantom Toolbooth
Little House on the prairie