Monday 18 October 2010

Syncing Story Worlds

I saw the new film RED last night in mind of recent OnFiction posts (and subsequent discussions) about romantic fiction and Laura Vivanco and Kyra Kramer's work on the romance genre (the much commented-upon alchemy of love post). Given this back story, I was delighted to discover that a central narrative device of the film's setup is a somewhat elaborate, if simple, pattern in which the male romantic lead inquires about the current habits of the female romantic lead (shown here reading at work); he then proceeds to read along with her trashy romance novels (and you'll have to see the film for yourself; to my disappointment, I could not find any images of Bruce Willis reading romance novels in bed).

As an academic and a bit of a bookworm, I take a certain delight in this representation of the syncing up of story worlds: in addition to the obvious usefulness of shared references in prosaic domains, there is something fantastically intimate (romance novels aside, even) about the experience of reading something someone else is reading. (Psychologists: there must be interesting work on how different people experience the process of imagining other people reading -- or there should be...)

In a somewhat less fictional domain of story syncing--although every bit as literary--I was also graced this weekend by the chance to attend the wedding of two wonderful friends (also longtime friends of OnFiction). This was an extraordinarily literate wedding, with a number of eloquent speeches extolling the various participants and greatly impressing those of us with considerably less verbal families. This was a superb example of the real-world performance of story syncing, in which two sets of family tales, childhood and shared experiences, relational parables and fond (and distressing) memories are told and re-told into the hybrid mythology that becomes a new family, as well as a new synced-up story lexicon.

Robert Schwentke (director), Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber (screenplay), Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner (graphic novel) 2010. RED. Summit Entertainment, Di Bonaventura Pictures, and DC Entertainment.

Bookmark and Share

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...