Archive for Commonplace Book

A Grammar of the Film

Just opened up A Grammar of the Film, by Raymond Spottiswoode, and was amused by some bits of the preface. The book was written and published around 1935, but this edition was published in 1950, with a rather self-deprecating preface by the author, who refers to his younger self in the third person. Some bits […]

On dragons and flight

In Delany’s world of Nevèrÿon, dragons can glide if they jump from a ledge, but they can’t take off from the ground. In the opening chapter of Neveryóna, fifteen-year-old Pryn has just flown on dragonback, but the dragon landed in a clearing instead of on a ledge, so it won’t be able to take off […]

Le Guin on writing about men

From Le Guin’s “Introduction to Planet of Exile” (intro written in 1977 or 1978; can now be found in The Language of the Night). Worth reading the whole piece, but here’s a bit of it: […] Planet of Exile was written in 1963–1964[…]. The book exhibits my early, “natural” (i.e., happily acculturated), unawakened, un-consciousness-raised way […]

Burgess on the Clockwork Orange movie ending

Anthony Burgess on the fact that Kubrick left out the denouement of the British version of A Clockwork Orange from the movie: People wrote to me about this—indeed much of my later life has been expended on Xeroxing statements of intention and the frustration of intention—while both Kubrick and my New York publisher coolly bask […]