French Scenes

Been skimming my way through Waldrop's Dream Factories and Radio Pictures, which is now available from Fictionwise in pretty much any electronic format you could want except HTML. Got it on my Palm, have been reading the new intros to the stories and skimming the stories, all of which so far I've read before, sometimes two or three times. Nobody writes like Waldrop.

Anyway, so I just got to "French Scenes," which I thought I hadn't read before, but it was looking kinda familiar, and then I found this bit which I had always thought was from some nonfiction essay I read somewhere but could never remember where:

The main thing guys like Godard and Truffaut had going for them was that they didn't understand English very well.

Like in Riot in Cell Block 11, when Neville Brand gets shot at by the prison guard with a Thompson, he yells:

"Look out, Monty! They got a chopper! Back inside!"

What the Cahiers people heard was:

"Steady, mon frère! Let us leave this place of wasted dreams."

If that alone isn't enough to get you to go shell out seven lousy bucks for this ebook (cheaper than going to a movie!), then maybe Chris Cobb's review will do the trick.

Oh, and re-reading "French Scenes" makes me finally understand why A. R. Morlan's "Ciné Rimettato" (Sci Fiction, 8/16/00) sounded so familiar when I read it. It's not the same story, by any means, but the technology in the story is (iIrc) pretty similar to what Waldrop did in his 1986 story.

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