Monday, August 20, 2007

DEAR MADLIBBIN' PARASAILER: An Open Letter in Which I Finally Answer Your Questions

Dear Madlibbin' Parasailer:

Without further ado, following are your questins and my answers to them.

1. You obviously have an affinity for writing and work in the publishing business. Do you have any aspirations to publish your own work?

Eventually (I'll explain later).

2. Which of your favorite books would you like to see made into a movie and which actors would you cast in the role of the main characters?

I don't think I'd ever wish for a favorite book to be adapted to the big screen.

3. Books aside, what is your favorite work of art?

I couldn't possibly pick just one work of art as my favorite. I haven't been able to choose a single favorite thing of mine--books included--in, like, 18 years (alas, I designated favorites rather arbitrarily during the first ten years of life). So, what I'll do is, choose a few of my favorites artists, writers aside,
I love the Impressionists like Monet, Cassatt, and Renoir; Edward Hopper; though I've never really been taken with modern art, I do love me some Jasper Johns; Rodin; and, who isn't enamored of the Pre-Raphealites, etc, etc, etc.

4. What is your idea of a perfect vacation?

a) a car, a road atlas and the Pacific Coast Highway;
b) a cruise ship, tons of food that's bad for me, and the Caribbean;
c) a spa holiday

5. How do you feel about hockey?

I was all about hockey when I was a kid. Alas, I've outgrown it since.

Your turn to answer the same questions, which I'm sure you'll do much more eloquently than I have here. I plead exhaustion.

The Nerddd


Anonymous said...

You really don't seem like your usual self with these responses. Has the anxiety of the Maine trip has gotten to you?

SabilaK said...

It's the anxiety of the trip plus the fact that I'm exhausted (it has, after all, been 19 months since my last vacation) plus this bastard hip-leg area pain that never seems to leave me alone.

Madlibbin' Parasailer said...


All of us I’m sure feel confident that your trip to Maine will go off without a hitch, resulting in, at the very least, the untightening of your right glute and at best, nirvanic rest and relaxation that will instantly sweep away 19 months of built-up stress. Hopefully the excellent fear of flying advice you’ve received from Bigkahuna and Aunty Helpful Dictator have allayed your fears at least somewhat.

On to the questions:

1. My aspiration as an adolescent was to write the great Russian novel. I think I might just be sufficiently mature in about 20 year to begin.

2. I do think that certain works of literature lend themselves to movie treatment better than others – especially philosophical short stories or novellas that do not rely on describing the inner world of the protagonists. The book that immediately comes to mind is Camus’ The Fall, in which the protagonist, Clamence, recounts his life to a stranger he mets in a bar (i.e. in the case of the book, the reader, and in the case of a hypothetical film, the audience) in a series of monologues in which he traces his eventual “fall” from grace as a human being. Given that the narrative is a linear conversation between Clamence and the reader (in which the reader is inspired to think about his/her own life in relation to Clamence's life story), the unfolding of the story has an almost cinematic quality which requires the direct engagement of the audience. This would of course work as a one-person play, but I think with the right actor, it could work on screen. The actor playing Clamence would have to give off the air of a charming, sophisticated middle aged gentlemen hiding the sorrowful conscience of someone who realizes that his life has been one of selfishness and hypocrisy. If filmed in French, of course, I think Gerarld Depardieu could play the part (he’s far more suave in French). If filmed in English, I think a younger version of Jeremy Irons (i.e. before he was typecasted) would have worked as well, although in a very different way.

3. I actually am a fan of new art, and in particular, seeing how contemporary artists have reacted to and interpreted familiar forms of art, such as painting and sculpture. For those reasons, I really enjoyed the current exhibit in the MOMA entitled “What is Painting” which takes a sampling of artwork from the past 40 years to examine how contemporary artists have developed, recreated and pushed the limitations of the artform (although, truth be told, I found that the golden thread of this exhibit is that there’s just a lot more irony in contemporary paintings).
That being said, I think my favorite works that I’ve seen live are Rodin’s sculptures at the Rodin museum in Paris, and the collection of Kandinskys and Chagalls at the MOMA.


a) a car/motorcycle, road atlas and the Pacific Coast Highway/sounds fantastic;

b) a backpack, a topographical map, 17 day worth of packed food and boxer briefs and a ticket to Kathmandu;

c) Alaska, an igloo (or a very spacious but cozy log cabin) with a workout basement, and plenty of time and space for writing New Yorker ready short stories and Oscar-winning screenplays.

5. I’m Canadian – n’uff said.

How are your preparations for your trip going?